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Glaucoma Treatment Options
WHAT IS SLT?
SLT stands for: Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty.
It is used to treat patients with glaucoma by reducing the pressure in the eye. It is performed in the office and has been shown to effectively lower eye pressure in many open-angle glaucoma patients. SLT uses a low energy laser to open the “clogged” drainage canals to improve the flow of fluid in the eye, which in turn lowers your eye pressure.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF SLT?
- Safe: SLT is not associated with systemic side effects or the compliance and cost issues of eye medications.
- Selective: SLT utilizes selective photothermolysis to target only specific cells, leaving the surrounding tissue intact.
- Smart: SLT stimulates the body's natural mechanisms to enhance outflow of the fluid in your eye.
- Sensible: SLT therapy is reimbursed by Medicare and many other insurance providers, which minimizes your out-of-pocket expenses
HOW IS SLT PERFORMED?
SLT is performed in the doctor’s office. You will sit in a conventional exam chair, where the doctor will use a slit lamp to examine your eye. The same slit lamp contains the SLT laser. During the procedure, the doctor will put anesthetic drops in your eye to numb it, and then place a lens on your eye for better viewing. The laser is applied to the edge of your iris. The entire procedure only takes a few minutes. The treatment does not cause any pain.
HOW DO I KNOW SLT WORKED?
There is no sensation associated with an SLT procedure. You will require follow up visits with your doctor to monitor the success of the treatment.
WILL I STILL NEED MY EYE DROPSAFTER SLT?
Maybe. Each individual is different. Although there is a chance you can eliminate or reduce medications, SLT is not a guarantee of this.
HOW LONG IS THE RECOVERY
Patients have no limitations after the treatment and are able to drive home. Your doctor will schedule a follow up appointment to evaluate your results.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO RECEIVE SLT TREATMENTS?
Depending on your individual circumstances and goals, another application may be needed at some point in the future.
ARE CONTINUED TREATMENTS SAFE?
SLT works by using laser light to stimulate the body's own healing response to lower your eye pressure. Because it treats selective cells and does not damage the surrounding tissue, SLT can be repeated.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS?
During the SLT, you should not feel any pain. Though infrequent, possible risks may include inflammation, temporary increase in eye pressure or scratchiness. Unlike eye drops, there is no chance of systemic side effects.
ARE THERE OTHER OPTIONS?
There are other surgery or medical options. Your doctor can explain why he feels this is the best option for you.