Glaucoma is a blinding disease of the eye. The primary aim of glaucoma treatmentis to reduce the eye pressure to a level which is safe enough for that particular eye. This can usually be achieved with regular eye drops. If eye drops fail to reduce the pressure, damage to the delicate optic nerve will eventually cause permanent loss of sight and blindness. However, there are other options available to reduce the risk of this happening. Laser treatments are usually the next step, althoughselective laser trabeculoplasty may be quite effective even as an initial treatment of glaucoma.
Cyclodiode laser treatment is used in the treatment of glaucoma that is difficult to control with other means and where other means are not appropriate. The laser is applied to the ciliary body in the eye, which reduces the production of fluid (aqueous humour) and can keep the eye pressure low.
Cyclodiode laser treatment is usually carried out under a local anaesthetic and as a day case. This means that although you will be awake, the eye will be numb so you will not feel any pain. The procedure is performed in operating theatre and takes about 15-20 minutes but the whole process may take few hours to half a day. You may be given an eye pad after the laser treatment which you should leave on until you get home. You are advised that you do not drive on the day of the procedure. Your eye may be uncomfortable and experience pain for a few days after the procedure - this can usually be controlled with simple painkillers such as paracetamol etc. The eye may also be watery and gritty for a few days and the vision may be blurred. You may be given some new drops to use initially to reduce inflammation and discomfort in the eye. It is important that these drops are used as directed.
Cyclodiode laser treatment uses diode laser, which is a highly concentrated beam of light, which can be used to target and treat a selected area inside the eye called the ciliary body. The ciliary body produces the watery fluid called Aqueous Humour, and is situated behind the iris (coloured part of your eye). Laser to the ciliary body leads to reduced production of aqueous humour (watery fluid in the eye) and this leads to fall in intraocular pressure (pressure in the eye).
The potential side effects and complications are: pain, bloodshot eye, bleeding, failure, need for further treatment or procedures, reduced or loss of sight especially if the eye pressure goes very low (hypotony, this might occur in about 1 in 100 eyes treated). Some change in the vision is noticed by up to 20 % of patients which may be due to various reasons and may sometimes be related to inflammation in the eye and swelling in the central retina that may improve with treatment.
About 80% of the eyes treated by laser in this way have a successful lowering of eye pressure. The effects of the laser can wear off in time but sometimes may last for months or years. The treatment can be repeated if necessary. In some studies every second eye will need to be retreated by 18 months.
Mr Raj will advise you whether you should continue your usual eye drops or stop them. You will usually have a check-up appointment within a month of treatment at the eye clinic to monitor your response to the laser treatment.
Please note that almost all glaucoma treatments and procedures including laser treatments are to better manage glaucoma and not to improve your vision.
Please note: This procedure is not aimed at improving vision or visual field. Vision once lost from glaucoma can not be regained. All treatment/operation for glaucoma is aimed at slowing down the rate of progression of glaucoma so that the risk of complete blindness in one's lifetime may be reduced.
Should you experience undue pain, redness of your eye and reduced vision,please contact your local eye emergency service without delay.
You may find relevant further information at
For private patients & referrals
Mr Akash Raj
Consultant Ophthalmologist, Glaucoma specialist & Cataract surgeon
(Alternate Thursday AM)
01384 632 640
Private Secretary: Liz Carter : 01384 632 636
Fax: 01384 632702
FAO Liz Carter
Mr Akash Raj
Consultant Ophthalmologist, Glaucoma & Cataract specialist
For NHS Referrals through GP/Opticians
Mr Akash Raj
Consultant Ophthalmologist (Glaucoma Lead)
Extn. 5815 (NHS Secretary: Lyn Eaton)
FAO Lyn Eaton