Can glaucoma patients have refractive surgery?

Patients with glaucoma often inquire about their eligibility to undergo refractive surgery, such as LASIK or PRK, among others.

Although there is no consensus on the specifics of who should or should not undergo refractive surgery, many doctors agree that patients with severe glaucoma should avoid these procedures. Also, refractive surgery can make eye pressure measurements more difficult to interpret.

For those who do not have a glaucoma diagnosis, we recommend visiting a glaucoma specialist before the procedure if you have positive family history of glaucoma (particularly cases of blindness in the family), if you are considered a ‘glaucoma suspect’, or have a combination of risk factors for the disease (see Who should be checked for glaucoma?).

World Glaucoma Association

Important message for glaucoma patients

It is important for you to get yourself regularly screened for glaucoma. If you have been diagnosed to have glaucoma, effective treatment options are now available and regular treatment and follow up can help you to preserve your vision for your lifetime, avoiding unnecessary fear of going blind.

You can live happily with glaucoma and enjoy an excellent quality of life, particularly if the disease is detected early and treated in time. Always remember that once you have glaucoma, you will have to be under the care of an eye doctor for the rest of your life.

There is a lot of research going on and new treatments may become available for glaucoma in the near future.

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