Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve is damaged. This can permanently damage vision in the affected eye(s) and lead to blindness if left untreated. It is normally associated with increased fluid pressure in the eye. Raised intraocular pressure is the most important and only modifiable risk factor for glaucoma. Untreated glaucoma can lead to irreversible damage of the optic nerv and resultant visual field loss, which over time can progress to blindness.
Glaucoma can be roughly divided into two main categories, "open angle" and "closed angle" (or "angle closure") glaucoma. The angle refers to the area between the iris and cornea, through which fluid must flow to escape via the trabecular meshwork. Closed angle glaucoma can appear suddenly and is often painful; visual loss can progress quickly, but the discomfort often leads patients to seek medical attention before permanent damage occurs. Open angle, chronic glaucoma tends to progress at a slower rate and patients may not notice they have lost vision until the disease has progressed significantly
Glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, laser or surgery.
Laser surgery for Glaucoma
Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) may be used to treat open angle glaucoma. It is a temporary solution, not a cure. Laser trabeculoplasty uses a "cold" (nonthermal) laser to stimulate drainage in the trabecular meshwork. SLT may be repeated three to four times.
Llaser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) may be used in patients susceptible to or affected by angle closure glaucoma. Laser energy is used to make a small opening in the iris to equalize the pressure between the front and back of the iris. Laser iridotomy reduces the risk of developing an attack of acute angle closure.