Glaucoma is a fairly common eye condition that is characterized by damage to the optic nerve caused by
There are several forms of glaucoma, with two types being most prevalent. These are:
In open-angle glaucoma, there is an imbalance in the production and drainage of the clear fluid in the eye. This tends to occur over time, and the impact on the patient’s vision is so gradual it can be difficult to notice there is a problem until the disease is relatively advanced.
The symptoms of open-angle glaucoma occur very slowly, beginning with an initial loss of side or peripheral vision. In most cases, clarity of vision is maintained until fairly late in the disease.
Since there are little to no symptoms of the condition, our eye doctor will routinely check for signs of glaucoma at your regular eye tests.
Much less common than open-angle glaucoma, closed angle glaucoma is normally characterized by a blockage preventing the usual drainage of the fluid from the eye. This can cause pressure to build very quickly, and so must be treated promptly to prevent irreversible damage.
Symptoms of closed-angle glaucoma tend to come on quite quickly and can include:
- Hazy or blurred vision
- Haloes or rainbow colors around bright lights
- Severe eye pain
- Nausea or vomiting as a result of the pain
- Sight loss
Laser vision correction is a type of treatment designed specifically to address refractive problems that cause the patient to need prescription eyewear such as glasses or contact lenses. Refractive problems are best known as far or near-sightedness or astigmatism and are concerned with the way that light enters the eye and is refracted onto the retina. When the light doesn’t hit the retina in quite the right way, the patient can suffer from blurred vision.
Another common refractive problem is known as presbyopia. This refers to the natural age-related degeneration of the lens of the eye, causing vision problems. While it is possible to have laser vision correction to address presbyopia, the results are often temporary as the degeneration of the lens cannot be halted.
While laser vision correction is considered to be a very safe treatment for refractive vision problems, there are some risks and side effects associated with its use. Glaucoma has been reported as one of the rare complications that have been seen following laser eye surgery, although there is no direct cause and effect relationship between the two.
Instead, many studies suggest that the patients who undergo laser vision surgery are already at increased risk of developing glaucoma. This is particularly true in the case of patients with high myopia who are naturally more likely to develop the condition with or without a laser vision correction procedure.
Nevertheless, some evidence has come to light that shows that a small number of patients experience elevated intra-ocular pressure after receiving laser eye surgery, which has the potential to cause damage to the optic nerve that results in glaucoma symptoms. Therefore, it is essential that our eye doctor carefully checks your IOP reading after your laser vision surgery to ensure that the pressure inside your eye doesn’t need to be addressed. If the pressure is found to be too much, eyedrops or medication may be prescribed, which will help to reduce it and subsequently reduce your risk of glaucoma.
If you are concerned about the risks of glaucoma when choosing laser vision correction, our professional and experienced team would be happy to speak