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Treating Glaucoma: Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty

By David Gross on September 30, 2016


Understanding glaucomaThe team at Deen-Gross Eye Centers is committed to helping the people of Merrillville have great vision. Sometimes this means advanced procedures to address serious conditions that lead to vision loss. Glaucoma is particularly troubling. If not diagnosed and treated early, it can lead to blindness.

While glaucoma is incurable, there are many glaucoma treatment options that can stop or slow down vision loss. Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is one such treatment for advanced needs. Let's go over the basics of SLT right now.

What Is Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)?

SLT is a type of laser surgery that is performed on glaucoma patients. The surgery is designed to help reduce the pressure within the eyes.

SLT is an outpatient procedure. The low-energy laser used in the process helps target specific pigmented cells within the trabecular meshwork of the eye. This is the tissue responsible for draining aqueous humor from the eye through the anterior chamber.

Ideal Candidates for Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

The best candidates for SLT are people who suffer from primary open-angle glaucoma, which is the more common form of glaucoma; 90 percent of all cases of glaucoma are open angle glaucoma. These patients will have often undergone non-invasive treatment with glaucoma medications that proved ineffective or did not yield sufficient reduction in intraocular pressure.

The Advantages of Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

The benefits of SLT include the following:

  • SLT is a safe and accurate laser procedure that only targets specific cells within the eye
  • SLT only affects the selective tissue without damaging other parts of the eye
  • SLT promotes natural reduction of intraocular pressure

What to Expect During Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

During SLT, a patient will sit in an exam chair. While sitting, a slit lamp will be used to examine the patient's eye. Anesthetic eye drops will be administered to reduce discomfort during the procedure, and a lens will be placed over the eye for a better view. The surgical laser is then applied to the edge of the patient's eye and carefully targets the trabecular meshwork. The treatment itself is quite brief.

After SLT, patients are given anti-inflammatory eye drops that should be taken as needed in the days after the procedure. A follow-up visit will assess the effectiveness of SLT.

How Effective Is Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)?

Studies have found that SLT will lower the pressure within the eye by approximately 75 percent. This can be quit significant, and help prevent further vision loss caused by glaucoma.

Contact Deen-Gross Eye Centers

For more information about treating glaucoma and improving the overall quality of your vision, be sure to contact our advanced eye care and vision correction center today. The team at Deen-Gross Eye Centers is here to help you see clearly and preserve your vision.

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