We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Glaucoma Laser Surgery?

By A.M. Boyle
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

People who suffer from glaucoma might have the option of undergoing glaucoma laser surgery to treat the condition. A laser uses a tiny but powerful beam of light to relieve the pressure caused by fluid buildup within the eye. The laser can eliminate blockages within a person’s eye or create alternate pathways for the fluid to drain. Glaucoma laser surgery usually will be recommended if a patient’s glaucoma is not adequately controlled by medication such as pills or eye drops.

This procedure usually is done in an eye doctor’s office or outpatient clinic. Generally, a patient will be given drops to numb the eye and will be seated in front of a special lamp called a slit lamp, to which the laser is attached. The doctor typically will insert a special contact lens into the patient’s eye, which will help to guide the laser. During the procedure, the patient will see flashes of colored light but should not experience any pain or discomfort.

There are three types of glaucoma laser surgery, each designed to treat a different type of glaucoma. The first type is laser iridotomy, and it is used to treat angle-closure glaucoma. For this procedure, a tiny hole is created in a person’s iris, which is the colored part of the eye, to help the fluid drain more consistently and thus relieve the pressure within the eye.

The second type of glaucoma laser surgery is laser trabeculoplasty, which is designed to treat open-angle glaucoma. It is designed to clear blockages inside a person’s eye that might be preventing the fluid from draining properly. For this procedure, the laser is used to clear away clogs along the trabecular meshwork within a person’s eye, thus allowing fluid to drain through.

Cyclophotocoagulation is the third type of glaucoma laser surgery, and it is used for individuals who have severe glaucoma. In this procedure, the laser is aimed at the ciliary, the part of a person’s eye that makes the fluid. The ciliary is intentionally damaged so that it will make less fluid.

After surgery, a patient might experience some swelling and a feeling of itchiness or grittiness in the eye. The patient might also experience blurred vision and sensitivity to light. These symptoms generally subside within a few days. Although laser surgery can be very helpful in treating glaucoma, the success of the procedure might depend on other factors, such as the patient’s age, the shape of the eye and whether there are other diseases present, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Additional treatments might be necessary, depending upon the severity and persistence of a patient’s glaucoma.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.