Laser treatment for glaucoma

Glaucoma is a serious condition that causes pressure to build up in the eye, potentially damaging the optic nerve and threatening a person’s vision. For patients with open-angle glaucoma, this pressure builds when the clear liquid in the eye does not drain properly. One solution many patients have turned to is laser trabeculoplasty, a brief, in-office surgery that relieves intraocular pressure by stimulating the eye’s drainage system. According to the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the laser makes tiny, evenly spaced burns in the eye’s “trabecular meshwork,” which is responsible for draining the liquid out of the eye.

This laser procedure helps rid the eye of extra liquid, thereby relieving the pressure a patient is experiencing. In most cases, laser trabeculoplasty is done in directly in an ophthalmologist’s office with an eye-drop anesthetic and can be completed in just 10 minutes. The Academy has found very few risks to the surgery and, in fact, has discovered that laser trabeculoplasty is effective 75 percent of the time. However, surgery is not always a permanent solution, so talk to an ophthalmologist on your vision plan for more information. He or she will determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure and show you how you, too, can overcome the diverse challenges of glaucoma.

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