Frequently Asked Glaucoma Surgery Questions

Below are many of the most commonly asked questions about glaucoma surgery at the Mitchell Eye Centre.

Please note that detailed descriptions are available on our website about glaucoma and treatment options for glaucoma. Be sure to visit these pages as they contain valuable information.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s advice following glaucoma surgery. This may include booking time off work, avoiding certain activities, medication, or other lifestyle changes after surgery. This page answers many of the most common questions regarding the healing and recovery process after glaucoma surgery.

If any of your questions about glaucoma surgery are not found below, please be sure to inquire with your eye doctor at the Mitchell Eye Centre. Before all surgeries and treatments, we will provide you with detailed information about what to expect.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition in which the fluid inside the eyes is unable to properly drain, resulting in a build up of intraocular pressure (IOP). This causes damage to your optic nerve, which can eventually lead to permanent blindness.

What are the different types of glaucoma?

The 3 main types of glaucoma are open-angle, narrow-angle, and childhood glaucoma. These have been covered in much greater detail on our glaucoma page under eye conditions. Yet, regardless of which type of glaucoma you are diagnosed with, it is important to receive treatment as early as possible in order to avoid further damage to your eyesight and the risk of permanent blindness.

What types of glaucoma treatment are available?

Treatment for glaucoma depends on the severity of your case and whether or not you are able to use medicated eye drops on a regular basis. Depending on the severity of this eye condition, your doctor will recommend that you receive drops or undergo one of 3 surgical options: Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) laser treatment, a gold shunt procedure, or a trabeculectomy (also known as filtration surgery). Click on any of those three links to read more about the procedures.

Will treatment cure me of glaucoma?

Unfortunately, there is currently no known cure for glaucoma. It can however be controlled and treatment for glaucoma will ensure that intraocular pressure does not continue to damage your eyesight.

For how long will glaucoma-related eye pressure be reduced?

Patients who consistently use their medicated eye drops as prescribed by their doctor can have eye pressure reduced indefinitely. Those who undergo one of the surgeries can have pressure reduced for variable periods – even indefinitely.

Do I need a ride home on the day of surgery?

Yes. We recommend that you are accompanied by an adult and or legal guardian to provide a ride home after undergoing glaucoma treatment. If necessary, one of our staff would be happy to assist you by calling and booking a taxi.

Do I need to use eye drops afterwards?

Yes. After undergoing glaucoma treatment, you will be provided with a prescription for medicated drops. It is very important that you use these as directed by your doctor.

Does glaucoma treatment hurt?

Laser treatment for glaucoma is painless. Some patients find that the medicated eye drops can sting and/or cause mild irritation or redness. Surgery is usually painless, but this depends on the procedure and unique characteristics of each patient.

If I have been diagnosed with glaucoma, how often should I return for a checkup?

Every 1 to 3 months until your doctor decides that your eye pressure is stable. Afterwards, follow up appointments will only be needed every 6 to 12 months.

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