Slow the Progression of Glaucoma with SLT Laser Treatment

By David Gross on March 01, 2019


A person's eyes being examinedGlaucoma is a serious eye condition that impacts vision and can lead to blindness if left untreated.

There is no cure for glaucoma, but with early detection and treatment, the effects of glaucoma can be slowed and managed to help preserve eyesight. At Deen-Gross Eye Centers, our team of doctors is dedicated to providing the latest, most effective treatments to patients.

One treatment our team is proud to offer is SLT laser treatment for glaucoma for patients in the Merrillville, IN area. For more information about SLT laser treatment, we invite you to schedule a consultation.

What Is SLT Laser Treatment?

Selective laser trabeculoplasty, or SLT, is a laser surgery treatment for glaucoma. SLT laser treatment is used to lower the pressure within the eye, a primary issue with glaucoma. SLT laser treatment uses short pulses of a low energy laser to stimulate certain cells within the drainage system of the eye. This helps improve the drainage of fluid within the eye and reduces intraocular pressure. By reducing intraocular pressure, SLT laser surgery can lessen the impact of glaucoma on the optic nerve and preserve vision.

SLT laser treatment may be used as an initial treatment for glaucoma, instead of medications. In other cases, SLT laser treatment will be postponed until glaucoma medications no longer reduce pressure significantly enough or cause significant side effects.

SLT laser treatment is not a cure for glaucoma, but it can help control symptoms and keep intraocular pressure under control. With that said, treatment may be repeated if pressure begins to rise again.

What Is the SLT Procedure?

The SLT procedure begins with the application of several eye drop medications, including an anesthetic drop to numb the eye, a drop to decrease the size of the pupil, and a drop to lower eye pressure.

A special contact lens is then placed on the eye to keep it open. The SLT laser is then applied to the eye to target the desired cells within the eye's drainage system. Some patients feel mild discomfort during treatment.

Recovery after SLT Laser Treatment

There are typically no restrictions after surgery. However, patients should have someone drive them home because the eyes may feel sore and sensitive after treatment.

It's not unusual for patients to experience blurred vision for a few hours after treatment. The eyes may also be particularly sensitive to light.

During recovery, it's important to take medications as directed. Patients are typically given an anti-inflammatory eye drop to help relieve any post-treatment swelling. Any glaucoma medications should still be taken as advised until changes are made by your eye doctor.

How Long Does SLT Treatment Results Last?

SLT treatment does not cure glaucoma. Instead, it helps control the condition and reduce symptoms. Accordingly, the effects of SLT laser treatment will eventually wear off, but effects generally last between one to five years.

Once the effects of treatment wear off and pressure begins to build within the eye again, SLT laser treatment can be repeated. Although there is generally no limit to how many times SLT laser treatment can be repeated, its effectiveness will typically lessen with repeated treatment.

Is SLT Laser Treatment Right for You?

If you are living with glaucoma, SLT laser treatment may be right for you. For more information or to find out if you're a candidate, please call Deen-Gross Eye Centers at (219) 769-8989 to schedule a consultation.

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