Can I Have Laser Eye Surgery If I Have Glaucoma?
Accurately determining your suitability for Laser Eye Surgery is the most important part of the whole process. While the majority of people can now be treated with Laser Eye Surgery for a variety of treatments, there are some factors that can affect your suitability, including your prescription, eye health, and any existing conditions.
So, you may be wondering: Can I have Laser Eye Surgery if I have glaucoma?
Well, the answer to this question may not be quite as straightforward as you were expecting. But before we get into that, let’s cover the basics.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a common eye disease in which the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. This can lead to impaired vision and progressive, irreversible vision loss when left untreated.
The condition is estimated to affect around 480,000 people in England alone, with age being a risk factor. In white Europeans, the most common form, open-angle glaucoma, is thought to affect 1 in 50 people over 40 and 1 in 10 people over 75. Other forms of glaucoma are angle closure glaucoma, secondary glaucoma, and developmental glaucoma.
Glaucoma initially affects the peripheral vision which may not be unnoticeable at first. If left untreated, however, this can progress to “tunnel vision” and, eventually, the loss of central vision.
The condition is usually (but not always) associated with increased pressure in the eye. Individuals with diabetes are also at an increased risk of developing glaucoma. Early detection of glaucoma is very important for effective treatment; however, while medication and surgery can slow down or prevent further vision loss, there is no cure for the condition.
In the video below, Dr Glenn Carp tells us more about how glaucoma affects the eyes.
Glaucoma and Laser Eye Surgery
If you have glaucoma and are concerned about how this may affect your suitability for Laser Eye Surgery, you may be relieved to learn that glaucoma itself is not a contraindication for the treatment.
Your suitability can depend on a number of factors, including the associated intraocular pressure. Every patient should be assessed on a case-by-case basis to fully determine the extent of their glaucoma before they are approved for any kind of Laser Eye Surgery procedure.
This means that you may still be eligible for Laser Eye Surgery, even if you have a diagnosis of glaucoma. However, as glaucoma can continue to cause damage to vision, even after laser eye surgery treatment, your surgeon will aim to establish what true benefits you can expect to achieve before going ahead with treatment.
In the video below, Dr Glenn Carp explains more about Laser Eye Surgery for Glaucoma patients.
Laser Treatment for Glaucoma
Laser Eye Surgery is not a treatment for glaucoma. However, laser treatment may be considered to open up blocked drainage tubes to improve the flow of fluid in the eye. This treatment is known as trabeculoplasty.
While this can be effective for slowing the progression of glaucoma, we do not offer this treatment at London Vision Clinic. For more information about laser treatment for glaucoma, speak with your eye doctor.
If you’re concerned about how your glaucoma could affect your suitability for Laser Eye Surgery, get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators, or Book a Consultation today.