No More Eyedrops: Glaucoma Patients May Best Benefit From Laser Surgery

Mar 1, 1996

Good news for glaucoma sufferers-the best first treatment for the eye disease may be laser surgery. For people with the disease, this may come as a relief since sufferers to-date have been relying on the eyedrop as the initial treatment.

In a study of patients in the national Glaucoma Laser Trial (GLT), sponsored by the National Institute of Health's Eye Institute, researchers found that laser treatment was as effective as treatment with eyedrops.

The follow-up study, which was conducted over a span of seven years, looked at laser's effect on patients' visual field, acuity, intraocular pressure and optic nerve. As reported in the American Journal of Opthalmology, the comparison between treatments of eyedrops and laser surgery showed virtually no difference in effectiveness between them.

Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease, affects about three million Americans. Small changes in the eye gradually interfere with the normal flow of fluids that feed tissues in the front of the eye. Because the fluids don't drain properly, the higher pressure in the eye can damage the optic nerve and narrow the field of vision. This is a slow process, so many people are not diagnosed with glaucoma until they have lost a significant amount of vision.

Dr. Hugh Beckman of Sinai Hospital in Detroit chaired the GLT study, and concluded that, "initial treatment with laser is at least as effective as initial treatment with eyedrops."

Before you rush to the laser surgeon, though, be forewarned that glaucoma is a long-term disease that must be controlled over a lifetime. And, while laser surgery offers many benefits, it also carries with it some side effects. Happily, these effects are temporary, and seem to be less troublesome than the longer term side effects of eyedrops.

Along with the knowledge and information available about the disease, sufferers now have one more viable defense against glaucoma.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Eye Care (Retinopathy)

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Mar 1, 1996

©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.