Laser treatment plays an increasingly important role in the management of glaucoma. Selective laser trabeculoplasty is a relatively new development, which is used to treat open-angle glaucoma; it is referred to below and in more detail in a different section.
Other types of laser, including YAG laser iridotomy, argon laser iridoplasty and cyclodiode laser are also used depending upon the type of glaucoma and its severity.
Lasers produce a focused beam of light, which is targeted on a particular part of the eye either to increase drainage of fluid or to decrease production of fluid in order to reduce intraocular pressure.
All laser treatments take approximately 15 minutes, and all but cyclodiode laser are performed as out-patient procedures in the clinic sitting in front of a slit-lamp; an anaesthetic eye drop is given prior to the application of a contact lens to the eye, through which the laser beam is focused.