Laser eye treatment for glaucoma
Glaucoma, an eye condition in which pressure builds up in the eye, is a serious ailment that can result in a permanent loss of vision if not treated. Through regular visits with the eye specialist, one can stay abreast of any changes in the eye that may signal the onset of glaucoma, and receive treatment promptly to preserve vision. Of our various laser eye treatments in Laguna Hills, the Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is the one used to benefit our glaucoma patients.
Lasers are still relatively new to the medical field, but have been in use long enough to prove this technology is highly effective and beneficial to the patient. In most laser-assisted procedures, there is minimal risk of complication and a reduced recovery period, allowing the patient to resume normal activity in a shorter period of time. To treat open-angle glaucoma, the short pulses of laser light target the cells in the eye, which contain melanin. These cells tend to lie within channels in the eye called the trabecular meshwork. Treating these cells, the laser promotes proper fluid drainage, which subsequently reduces intra-ocular pressure that causes optic nerve damage and vision loss.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty is a procedure typically performed after or in addition to the use of glaucoma medication. Performed right here in our office, this laser treatment is designed to release pressure that may be affecting the optic nerve. Before treatment begins, the patient receives eye drops that will numb the eye. Within just a few moments, the eyes become numb. The patient usually feels no discomfort from the laser energy itself since it is a low energy cold laser.
Dr. Salib applies treatment by holding up a specialized lens to the eye, and then aiming the laser light into the eye. During treatment, the patient may see brief flashes of bright red or green, but will usually feel nothing. These beams of light will be reflected onto the meshwork inside the eye, reaching melanin-containing cells and facilitating the elimination of fluid. The treatment is usually completed within a few minutes, and the patient goes home the same day.
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Following this laser eye treatment, the patient should protect the eyes from bright light for a few days. The doctor may prescribe eye drops to decrease any swelling or soreness that may occur after treatment. Within a few weeks, the full results of SLT will be noticeable and recorded in a follow up visit to our office.
Combating eye conditions such as glaucoma has gotten easier with the advances in laser technology. To learn more about this procedure or to schedule your consultation with Dr. Salib, contact the Orange County Eye Institute today.
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