This information is for patients who are having cyclodiode laser treatment for glaucoma.
Glaucoma is the name for a group of eye conditions which cause damage to the optic nerve at the back of the eye. In glaucoma the natural fluid which fills the eye cannot drain away properly. This can result in a build-up of pressure within the eye which in turn can cause loss of vision.
The purpose of glaucoma treatment is to reduce the eye pressure to a level which is safe for the eye. This can usually be achieved with the use of eye drops. However, your eye specialist now considers that cyclodiode laser treatment is necessary as other types of treatment have failed or are no longer effective.
Cyclodiode laser treatment can reduce the amount of fluid in the eye and so lower the eye pressure, which can prevent or slow down any further loss of vision. This increases the possibility of no longer needing or of reducing your eye drops. In some patients, cyclodiode laser can have the additional benefits of reducing pain resulting from high eye pressure.
However, Cyclodiode laser treatment does not improve your vision.
Before the procedure
- You will receive a letter from the waiting list office with the date and time of your admission to the Eye Day Surgery Unit.
- Please arrange for a friend or relative to take you home after your surgery.
- Please note: on the day of the procedure, you can eat and drink as normal and take all medications as normal.
- Before your procedure, your eye specialist will talk to you and ask you to sign a consent form to confirm that you have understood what is involved and agree to go ahead with it. Please ask any questions about the procedure that you may have.
- You can remain in your clothes; and you will be given an identity band, which you should check.
- Cyclodiode laser treatment is performed in the operating theatre and you will be awake and lying down.
- You will be given a local anaesthetic injection around the eye (sub tenons) which may sting a little at first and will numb the eye.
- During the procedure, laser treatment is gently applied to the white of the eye. You will not experience any pain; but you may hear a popping noise which is normal.
- The procedure lasts for approximately 5 minutes.
- At the end of the procedure the eye will be covered with a pad which you should leave on until you get home.
After the procedure
- You will return to the eye unit and normally go home within an hour.
- You must not drive home after the procedure.
- Your eye may be uncomfortable for a few days this can be controlled with simple painkillers as paracetamol.
- The eye may be red, watery and gritty for a few days and the vision may blurred.
Do not touch the eye.
- You will be given eye drops to use to reduce inflammation within the eye. Use these drops as directed.
- You will be told whether to continue or to stop your usual eye drops.
- You can resume your normal activities but avoid driving until after your next outpatient appointment.
- You will receive an outpatient’s appointment within 2 to 4 weeks of the treatment.
Risks and complications
Any medical treatment involves potential risks. For cyclodiode laser treatment they are:
- Inflammation of the eye, which can be treated.
- Pain after the procedure; you are advised to take paracetamol.
- Temporary reduced vision for up to 6 weeks.
- In very rare cases permanent loss of vision or a noticeable reduction in overall vision.
- In extremely rare circumstances, bleeding and infection, which may involve further treatment in hospital.
- In some cases, the procedure may need to be repeated to obtain the full beneficial effect.
If you have any concerns about the above risks please talk to your eye specialist before the procedure.
Contact the Hospital if you experience any of the following:
- Severe pain
- Sudden loss of vision
- Discharge from the eye
Monday to Friday, 8am – 5pm, phone 01582 491166 and ask for the Eye Nurse Specialist on bleep 273 or 110.
Out of hours – ask to speak to the doctor on call.
For further information
The Eye Nurse Specialist on 01582 491166 and ask the operator to bleep 273 or 110; Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.
Or you can find information from the International Glaucoma Association on the website: