This article is from a series of articles about the state-of-the-art equipment at Atlantic Medical Eye Care. This time we’re focusing on Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty or SLT.
What is Glaucoma?
In the United States, about 2% of the population has glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease marked by elevated pressure in the eye. Though it is often painless, left untreated it can cause irreversible vision loss.
Glaucoma cannot be cured. However, by lowering the pressure in the eye, the progression of the disease can be halted. Common therapies include:
- eye drops
- laser surgery (via the SLT)
- incisional surgery (traditional surgery using a knife)
Click here to learn more about surgical treatment options for glaucoma.
Why We Use the SLT Laser to Treat Glaucoma
Because of its convenience and cost effectiveness, SLT is rapidly becoming the first line of treatment — even before eye drops.
During SLT, a focused beam of light is used to treat the eye’s trabecular meshwork (the eye’s drainage system). This helps increase the flow of fluid from the eye.
The SLT procedure is painless and quick. Usually it is done in a matter of minutes. Afterwards one might experience a slight headache and have blurry vision. These symptoms usually resolve within a day, and most people can return to work the next day.
Advantages of SLT
SLT has the advantages of working continuously without requiring the patient to remember to instill drops in their eyes. The surgery can last up to 10 years, which adds up to significant cost savings on medications.
Not only is the SLT quick and painless, but it is also covered by insurance and can be repeated as necessary.