Glaucoma_Just poke me in the eye!

peer into the eye

Yesterday was the day of my SLT aka Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty. This is a laser procedure on my eyes to keep them from developing eye popping pressure. My eyes won’t actually pop but I would slowly go blind if it wasn’t treated. The pressure damages the optic nerve. The surgery takes only a few minutes and is only mildly uncomfortable. This is the 5th time I have had this done. It keeps me from having to use medicated drops in my eyes on a daily basis. My father has to use the expensive and irritating eye drops 2 times daily and has been for 35 years. I am lucky because this eye problem was diagnosed early because I get regular eye exams. this is one bonus of wearing glasses. I included some information and links that might be helpful to you or someone you love. I feel it is important to spread the word because glaucoma often goes untreated until your vision has been permanently damaged or lost. There is no cure at this time for glaucoma there is only life long treatment.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States.

Often there are no symptoms at first, but a comprehensive eye exam can detect it.

People at risk should get eye exams at least every two years. They include

  • African Americans over age 40
  • People over age 60, especially Mexican Americans
  • People with a family history of glaucoma

Early treatment can help protect your eyes against vision loss. Treatments usually include prescription eyedrops and/or surgery.

Glaucoma can also make your eyes very sensitive to light. This I know first hand. Bright light is very uncomfortabe for me. Here is a link to give you a bit more information on sunglasses and light sensitivity with glaucoma [ a guide to sunglasses ]

Some websites with more detailed glaucoma information

National Eye Institute

National Eye Institute (spanish)

Glaucoma Research Foundation

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12 responses to “Glaucoma_Just poke me in the eye!

  1. Thanks for your SLT info. I was diagnosed in my mid 30’s and am losing field at 44 so my Drs are starting to suggest SLT. So how are you 3 months after? Did the pressure go down? I have PDS and am not sure what the long term effect would be on such a new procedure.

  2. Paul,

    I am doing great 3 months after the procedure. My pressures are 17 in both eyes as of my post-op visit. I have never used drops and my pressures started out in the high 20’s. I have the SLT procedure done approximately every 2 years (5 times total so far). I started right when I was diagnosed and SLT was just approved in the US. I only had very mild discomfort for a short time (few hours). I had to use steroid drops for a few days to keep swelling and pressure down. I do not have PDS so I am not sure how SLT works with that. I am going to ask my Doc about it when I go to my next visit. I do have narrow angles and had a iridotomy several months before my last SLT. I don’t have any field of vision loss at this time but I go in a month to do that blasted test once again. I hope this helps you. If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to ask me. Information helps all of us with this disease.

  3. Hi my name is tom,

    I have trauma related glaucoma. Recently, following a retinal reattachment surgery, my pressures were reading 58 mmhg. I am taking lots of drugs to keep them down to around about 36 mmhg. I’m suffering with awful side affects from the various pills and drops I take, I’m very interested in this surgery, does anyone know how effective it would be for extreme cases like myself ? My only other option is to have a drain tube inserted, into the eye, not to keen on the sound of that!!!

    • Hi Tom,
      So sorry about all the trouble with your eyes. I just had a repeat (the hole closed) iridotomy yesterday. They put a little hole in the iris (colored part of eye). As far as the SLT I am not sure this will help in your situation as your glaucoma is traumatic. You didn’t say how long your pressures have been up. They are pretty high. Not all doctors do the SLT procedure. Probably because the equipment is probably very expensive and it is still being studied. My personal opinion is the drug companies don’t want it to work. I have never used any eye drops except right after surgery to keep swelling down. I can’t even tell I had a hole poked in my eye yesterday.

      I think you live in the UK. My Opthomologist is Richard A. Weise M.D. at Glandale eye medical group in Glendale, CA near Los Angeles 818-956-1010 phone http://www.glendaleeye.com Maybe you could email them and ask the question. I feel very confident about my doctors skills.

      I have heard about the drain but unfortunately can’t tell you much about it. I think you need to be diligent in your care however because you don’t want the elevated pressures to cause more eye damage. If the drain tubes lower your pressures enough maybe you can decrease some of the medications. That would be a bonus.

      I would love to hear how things turn out. I hope this helped a little bit.
      I wish you all the best.

  4. Pingback: I Just Had A Hole Poked In My Eye ~ Iridotomy ~ « Flying Kitten——–[movie medic music mama]

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  6. Had my second iridotomy on 1-26-2015. Hurt a bit more than the first, but so far all is well! Live in the Northeast, so have been unable to get to the follow-up appointment due to the storms and travel bans.

  7. Just how painful is an iridotomy? I had SLT. Painless. Now I need iridotomy. How would you compare it to a mammogram?

    • Hello, for me the iridotomy was not painful. They numb your eye so you really don’t feel much of anything, at least I didn’t. Funny thought to compare to a mammogram. My answer is the same. To me a mammogram is uncomfortable and not painful. Maybe a mammogram is a bit more uncomfortable just because the thought of having your boobs squashed in-between two plates as you stand. With an iridotomy there can be more complications post surgery. Good luck!

  8. Thanks! Opthamologist said iridotomy is painful. I had SLT. Nothing. BTW I have both open angle glaucoma and narrowing angles. Do not know anyone else who does. This scares me. Do you? BTW I am retired, and need to supplement my income as fine artist, especially portraiture.

    • Hello again, The iridotomy was slightly more uncomfortable than my SLT’s. I’ve been getting the SLT approx. every 2 years for 15 years or so. The iridotomy was slightly more uncomfortable (not painful) for me because they had to do more zaps with the laser to break through to make the hole. My right eye was more difficult than my left eye. I was fortunate I did not and still have no issues with the iridotomy. I also have open and narrow angle glaucoma. If you happen to get the white line that some get from the iridotomy my Dr. said they can do a procedure to fix that. It is scary when dealing with your eyes. I still wonder about this preventative procedure. When I get my eyes checked for glasses they don’t even look to see if the holes are still open, so I wonder. I also wonder how many people it has really helped as far as stopping an acute attack of high eye pressures. I had to trust my Dr.

      • Oddly, I have several friends my age, in their late 60s, who have had iridotomies. I don’t know anyone who has open angle glaucoma. They were all preventative. I know that the glaucoma specialist that I use does a lot of them. A description of the ocular emergency that can result from angle closure is pretty scary so I will do it. My concern is how this changes the management of my open angle glaucoma. I am going for a second opinion. I will let you know!

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