Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that causes progressive damage to the optic nerve at the point from which the eye carries visual information to the brain.

If left unt}reated, most types of glaucoma gradually progress worsening visual damage and can lead to blindness. Once that happens, the visual damage is irreversible, and that is why glaucoma is called the "silent thief of vision".

With early detection and treatment, you can protect your eyes against serious visual loss.

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Glaucoma Symptoms

At first, open-angle glaucoma shows no symptoms. It is painless.  Vision remains normal.

Without treatment, people with glaucoma slowly lose their peripheral vision. If glaucoma remains untreated, people may fail to see objects to the side and out of the corner of his eye. They can see as if looking through a tunnel. Over time, also the central vision may decrease until it may be completely lost.

Immediate treatment for early stages of open-angle glaucoma can delay progression of the disease. That's why early diagnosis is very important. The treatment of glaucoma depends on the case-specific type of glaucoma and its' severity.


Glaucoma treatment includes drugs, selective laser trabeculoplasty, conventional surgery or a combination of any of these. Drugs, in the form of eye drops or pills are the most common early treatment of glaucoma. Applied regularly, drops decrease the pressure inside the eye and some medicines cause the eye to produce less fluid pressure reducing and helping to drain fluid from the eye.

Vision Integral offers our international patients the options of laser treatment and surgery to treat glaucoma. 

If you are planning getting glaucoma surgery abroad,
consider the following items.

Length of stay at the hospital: Procedure performed as outpatient. No hospitalization required.
Average stay in Guatemala: 2-7 days for surgery in both eyes. Patients can generally fly soon after surgery.
Anesthesia: Generally performed with local anesthesia.
Duration of procedure: The surgery usually takes 30-45 minutes to complete.
Other recommendations: Travel with a companion.


Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a safe, effective treatment that has been clinically proven to help in lowering intraocular pressure in patients with open angle glaucoma. Few to none complications are produced through this method to reduce intraocular pressure. In addition to the advantages above, the clinical and scientific evidence shows that the Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty can also reduce the use medication for glaucoma. 

Advantages and benefits of Trabeculectomy for
Glaucoma (Surgery)

Conventional surgery, called trabeculectomy, is performed at the operating room. Before surgery, you will be given medicine to help you relax. Your doctor will numb your eye under local anesthesia. He or she will remove a small piece of tissue to create a new channel for the fluid to drain from the eye. This fluid leaks between layers of eye tissue and creates a blister known as a "bleb". For several weeks after surgery, patients should use eye drops to prevent infection and inflammation.

Conventional surgery is performed on one eye at a time. Typically, operations are programmed with four to six weeks apart. Conventional surgery is about 60 to 80 percent effective in reducing intraocular pressure. Conventional surgery works best if you have not had previous eye surgery, such as cataract surgery. Conventional surgery can cause side effects, including cataracts, corneal problems, inflammation, infection inside the eye, or low eye pressure.