Can patients with a family history of glaucoma have LASIK/LASEK laser eye surgery

A recent patient was concerned that they might not be able to have LASIK laser eye surgery because their father had glaucoma. In fact there is no evidence that laser eye surgery causes glaucoma and patients with a family history of glaucoma can safely have laser eye surgery.  However, LASIK/LASEK laser eye surgery works by changing the shape of the cornea and in doing this makes the cornea slightly thinner and as the thickness of the cornea determines the measurement of pressure in the eye subsequent measurements of pressure in an eye after LASIK can be underestimated. Glaucoma doctors and opticians are aware of the relationship between corneal thickness and pressure measurement and are able to make an adjustment to the measured value to take this into account. Patients should always inform their doctor or optician that they have had laser eye surgery when having glaucoma screening.

Posted on September 10, 2013 .