|Glaucoma must be managed before Lasik laser eye surgery.
Glaucoma is a condition in which the internal ocular pressure
(IOP) of the eye is elevated, causing damage to the optic
nerve. The most common type of glaucoma will show no symptoms
until loss of vision has started, but can be diagnosed with a complete
eye examination. Glaucoma can be treated with medicated eye drops,
laser surgery, and/or conventional surgery.
Glaucoma is detected by the measurement of the eye pressure,
visual examination of the optic nerve during a complete eye exam,
and a visual field test to determine if loss of vision has started.
Causes of Glaucoma
Aqueous humor flows into and out of the anterior chamber of the eye to bathe and nourish the intraocular structures. When a patient has glaucoma, the fluid drains too slowly
out of the anterior chamber. As the fluid builds up, the pressure
inside the eye rises. If the eye pressure is not controlled, damage
to the optic nerve may occur, which will lead to vision loss and
eventually blindness if not treated.
Glaucoma may be a problem if you are considering refractive surgery, but different types of refractive surgery
are less problematic than others. Individuals with very highly IOP
or predisposed to glaucoma may not be appropriate for conventional
or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, or Epi-Lasik, but may be appropriate for other types of refractive
surgery like PRK, LASEK, P-IOL, or RLE. While glaucoma does not automatically exclude a person
from many refractive surgery techniques, glaucoma should be treated
and stabilized before considering refractive surgery.
During Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, and Epi-Lasik surgery, a microkeratome is affixed to the eye with suction. This suction
greatly increases the IOP of the eye for a brief time. The temporarily
elevated IOP may negatively affect a patient with glaucoma or someone
predisposed to glaucoma. PRK, LASEK, CK, P-IOL, and RLE do not require
a microkeratome and do not dramatically raise the patient's IOP.
These techniques may (emphasis on "may") be appropriate for consideration.
About 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma. Some
risk factors for glaucoma include a family history of glaucoma,
ancestry of the Negro race, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking,
advanced age, the use of corticosteroids, and previous ocular trauma.
If you have been previously diagnosed with glaucoma or are a member
of a glaucoma risk group, be sure to discuss with your refractive
surgeon any concerns you may have regarding refractive surgery and
Online Glaucoma Test
An FDA approved online glaucoma test is available that
you can use from your own computer to determine if you have glaucoma.
Visit Online Glaucoma Test
Looking For Best Lasik Surgeon?
If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for conventional
or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, or any refractive surgery procedure, we recommend you consider a doctor who has been evaluated and certified by the USAEyes nonprofit organization.
Locate a USAEyes Evaluated & Certified Lasik Doctor.
If this article did not fully answer your questions, use our
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