There are many types of glaucoma, an eye disease with characteristic damage to the optic nerve. The intraocular pressure (IOP) is recognized as an important glaucoma risk factor—the higher the IOP the more likely that optic nerve damage will occur. IOP is a passive variable, determined by the rate of inflow of aqueous humor and by the resistance to outflow. In all glaucoma, inflow is within normal limits, but outflow resistance is high. Effective laser treatments for glaucoma either (1) enhance outflow by reducing resistance or (2) reduce the rate of inflow. New laser treatments are becoming available.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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