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What is the glaucoma and post-cataract laser service?
Laser treatment used for glaucoma works by decreasing the amount of fluid within the eye. This works by either increasing the drainage of fluid out of the eye, or reducing the amount of fluid that is made.
Laser treatment for post-cataract, capsular clouding, is a treatment that is used to improve the vision post-surgery. It is very common and helps to let light pass through the cloudy regions of the lens capsule that may develop after the initial cataract surgery.
When should I seek laser treatment?
Upon the post-operative assessment of cataract, it will be decided whether you would benefit from having laser surgery. For the glaucoma service, if the eye drops are not effective, you may receive laser treatment.
If you have any issues with your vision or are worried, see your optician or GP they can make an assessment and refer you into our services
What does laser treatment involve?
For glaucoma, the types of laser treatment include:
- Laser trabeculoplasty: A laser is used to open up the drainage angle within your eye, which allows more fluid to drain out and reduces the pressure inside
- Laser iridotomy: Laser is used to create holes in your iris to improve fluid flow within your eye
Laser treatment is carried out in the outpatient department. Local anaesthetic drops are used to numb your eyes – you may just feel a brief twinge of pain during the procedure.
Post-cataract capsular clouding: Your surgeon will carefully direct a laser beam into your eye. The beam will make a hole in the clouded capsule behind the lens, this is repeated to create an opening in the capsule and reduce cloudiness.
How long does laser treatment take?
Glaucoma laser treatment takes around 20 minutes. Post-cataract laser treatment takes around five minutes.
What are the results of laser treatment?
For glaucoma it is hoped that the pressure control in the eye is improved. For post-cataract capsular clouding there is usually a significant, immediate improvement in vision.
What are the risks and complications of laser treatment?
Patients often report an almost overnight improvement in their eyesight, with many returning to activities such as driving and reading with no further eye problems. Many people who have had cataract surgery also find that they rely less on glasses.
A pre-operative assessment is our opportunity to ensure that the procedure for which you have been referred is right for you. We’ll explain your treatment to you and makes sure that you are well enough to go ahead with it. It is also your opportunity to meet the team who will care for you and to ask any questions.