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Frequently Asked Questions about Glaucoma Laser Treatment

Frequently Asked Questions about Glaucoma Laser Treatment

Glaucoma is a debilitating eye condition that, left alone, can lead to blindness. That is precisely why it is important to discuss with your ophthalmologist a course of treatment that will maintain your sight. The professionals at Laser Eye Center of Miami are pleased to help answer your questions about this procedure.

What Are the Different Types of Laser Treatments?

Laser Eye Center of Miami offers two popular options: selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) and laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI). You will not need to decide which treatment seems “better” since each is suited for a separate type of glaucoma.

The overwhelming majority of patients have open angle glaucoma, a condition where eye drainage is partially blocked near the base of the cornea and causes pressure to build in the eye. In these cases, SLT is a highly successful treatment that can be safely repeated years later if necessary.

A smaller portion of patients have angle closure glaucoma wherein the iris is the part blocking drainage, which also increases the amount of pressure in the eye. For this condition, LPI is the appropriate course of action.

How Do These Laser Treatments Work?

With SLT, our doctors use a laser to stimulate the trabecular meshwork and increase the eye’s drainage capabilities. In the weeks to follow, fluid will be able to escape thereby relieving the pressure in your eye by about 20 to 30 percent.

As for LPI, our doctors use an Argon Yag laser to bore a tiny hole toward the edge of your iris. That hole allows aqueous buildup to exit your eye and decrease the level of pressure in your eye.

Do They Hurt?

Because your doctor will administer numbing eyedrops ahead of the treatment, you should feel minimal discomfort during the procedure.

Following the laser treatment, it is normal for your eyes to moderately ache or swell. Most patients report that the pain is fleeting and that eyedrops are good at relieving that discomfort.

How Soon Will I Be Able to See Better?

Although the treatment will leave you with blurrier vision in the initial hours, you should be able to resume normal activity the following day, provided you continue to take your eyedrops for glaucoma.

Keep in mind that the pressure in your eye will gradually dissipate as drainage occurs. Generally, this process takes several weeks, so you will need to give it time before deciding whether the treatment was successful enough that you can ditch the eyedrops.

Got More Questions?

The above answers are a good starting point for understanding glaucoma laser treatment, but our doctors understand that you may have several more questions specific to your individual situation. Please reach out to the friendly staff at Laser Eye Center Miami to arrange for a personal consultation.