Argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT) is a procedure commonly used in the treatment of glaucoma and diabetic eye disease. Both of these conditions can cause increased pressure within the eye due to fluid buildup, potentially damaging the optic nerve and compromising vision.
When ALT is done, your doctor uses a laser to make more openings in the drainage pathways (the trabecular meshwork) in your eye. The procedure can reduce the pressure in your eye and may help prevent more damage to the optic nerve and further loss of vision. Typically, this procedure is performed on glaucoma patients for whom medication and drops have not provided significant relief.
After this painless outpatient procedure, some patients report blurred vision for a few hours, which usually clears up within a day. Up to 90% of patients experience successful results. Although the reduction in fluid pressure may not be permanent, it can delay the need for conventional glaucoma surgery for some time.