What is Glaucoma ?
Glaucoma refers to a group of conditions that cause vision loss due to damage to the optic nerve, which carries information from the eye to the brain. Such damage is usually the result of high pressure in the eye. Glaucoma causes vision loss over time and, if left untreated, can result in blindness.
If your current glaucoma medications fail to control your eye pressure, or if you are unable to tolerate ongoing treatment with eye drops, you may be a suitable candidate for glaucoma laser surgery.
Glaucoma laser surgery – What to expect
Glaucoma laser surgery is performed in order to reduce eye pressure in an attempt to prevent or slow further vision loss. Here is what you can expect before, during and after glaucoma laser surgery.
Prior to glaucoma laser surgery, Dr Pappalardo will provide you with general guidelines to help you prepare. While this is a minimally invasive procedure, your eye may feel a little gritty and your vision may be slightly blurry after treatment, meaning that you will be unable to drive yourself home and will need to arrange alternative transportation.
Glaucoma laser surgery can be completed in as little as five minutes and usually comprises the following steps.
First, Dr Pappalardo will numb your eyes with eye drops and place a contact lens on the eye to help precisely focus the laser. During treatment, you will sit in front of the laser machine while Dr Pappalardo aims the laser into your eye using the special contact lens. While this is relatively painless, you may see flashes of green or red light and feel a mild tingling sensation during the laser treatment.
This treatment is not designed to damage the eye structurally. Instead, this method aims to help the fluid drain from the eye, in turn lowering the eye pressure that causes damage in glaucoma.
Most patients can resume their regular daily activities immediately after treatment, however, you will need someone to drive you home. You may find that your vision is blurry for an hour or so, and it is also common to experience a gritty sensation in the eye, which should resolve within a few hours.
Follow up appointments with Dr Pappalardo will be required to determine whether the laser treatment has lowered the eye pressure satisfactorily. Some patients will need to continue taking glaucoma drops, even if their eye pressure has lowered in response to laser treatment. The effects of laser treatment may wear off over time, meaning that you may need further treatment in the future.
Dr Pappalardo will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions, including medication requirements and follow-up visits.
Glaucoma laser surgery risks
As with any procedure, glaucoma laser surgery does not come without risks. While complications are infrequent, these will be discussed with you prior to your procedure. You will have Dr Pappalardo’s contact details afterwards so that you are able to contact her at any time if concerns arise that require advice or further management.
Get in touch to see Dr Juanita Pappalardo
Dr Pappalardo is a Specialist Ophthalmologist with broad experience treating a range of common eye diseases, including glaucoma. If you believe that you have glaucoma, get in touch to plan your visit with Dr Pappalardo.