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Laser eye surgery for glaucoma

by DerikBriany

posted in Health and Fitness : Eyes Vision

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Regarded as a silent thief of people's sight, glaucoma is one of the most common eye problems among aged people. Statistics show there are over 3 millions of Americans suffering from this eye disease, and glaucoma is one of the leading causes for blindness in the USA. However, it is a pity that a large number of people do not know much about it, when they find they have this eye problem, it is usually too late. The following will give some introduction on glaucoma and laser eye surgeries to treat glaucoma.


What are the causes for glaucoma? The direct cause for glaucoma is high pressure in the eye, which can cause damage to optic nerve. For people with healthy eyes, while producing aqueous humor continuously, trabecular meshwork will drain them as the same rate. However, with ages, people's trabecular meshwork will be clogged, and have low ability for drainage. Therefore, the pressure on the optic nerves will become higher to an unhealthy level, and finally the high pressure optic nerve will lead to glaucoma.


Now that the glaucoma is caused by high optic nerve pressure or excessive amount of aqueous humor in the eye, the treatments should be focused on these two points. Usually, patients will be diagnosed of some topical eye drops or oral medications to reduce the eye pressure. If it is not effective, patients will be advised to take surgeries in case of further vision loss.


The popular laser surgery for glaucoma is laser trabeculoplasty. Through the surgery, the whites of the eye will be cut through, and part of trabecular meshwork will be burned, so as to make the remainder of trabecular meshwork to expand, and more permeable. In this way, the aqueous humor will be more easily to drain and the pressure of the eye is reduced. Though it indeed help people a lot in stopping the damage and saving the remaining vision, it also has some risks. As we see, it is a very delicate surgery, and few surgeons in the world can perform the surgery, if there is any small fault, it will lead people to blindness.


An Israeli company IOPtima develops a surgery which gives people with glaucoma a new hope. The surgery is considered to be a breakthrough in the treatments for glaucoma, which can be performed by most surgeons. The device is called OT134, which is based on carbon dioxide laser technology commonly used in skin resurfacing. The carbon dioxide laser can minimize the bleeding and the wounds can be cauterized by immediate heat. This laser can work the intricate steps automatically, so the successful rate will be higher. If it works well, more and more patients with glaucoma will benefit a lot from the surgery.


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