Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a type of laser surgery that is performed by an optometrist to lower pressure in the eye. It is also referred to as intraocular pressure (IOP). This procedure is performed as a treatment for patients suffering from primary or secondary open-angle glaucoma. SLT may be used to treat high eye pressure in conjunction with other treatments, such as eye drops.
Here at Fletcher Family Eyecare in Jonesboro, we perform SLT to relieve high IOP in patients with open-angle glaucoma.
What Is SLT?
When a patient is suffering from high eye pressure due to glaucoma, an optometrist may prescribe medicated eye drops. If the eye drops are not effective or are causing severe side effects, the optometrist may opt to have the patient undergo SLT. In some cases, SLT is the first treatment for patients with open-angle glaucoma.
SLT works by applying laser energy to the eye's drainage tissue. This triggers a biological and chemical reaction in the tissue and ultimately leads to better fluid drainage in the affected eye. After the procedure, the pressure in the affected eye should come down with time. It typically takes anywhere from one to three months for the patient to see a significant decrease in eye pressure. When SLT is used as an initial treatment for high eye pressure in glaucoma, IOP decreases by 30 percent on average.
Can SLT Cure Glaucoma?
Unfortunately, SLT is not able to cure glaucoma nor will it reverse any vision loss that glaucoma has caused. Glaucoma is considered a chronic disease. Patients with this disease will need to undergo monitoring and treatment on a regular basis.
Is SLT Permanent?
SLT treatment may wear off after one to five years, or it may last longer. If the treatment diminishes over time, the patient can undergo the procedure again. However, repeat treatments tend not to be as effective as the initial treatment. At some point, SLT will stop being effective for treating the patient's high eye pressure.
When SLT is not effective, patients can undergo alternative treatments, such as surgery or medication. Some examples of similar procedures are micropulse laser trabeculoplasty (MLT) and argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT). SLT does not impact the effectiveness of these alternative treatments.
In conclusion, SLT is a treatment that you should consider if you're suffering from high IOP due to open-angle glaucoma. SLT can be performed as an initial treatment for glaucoma or as an additional treatment.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Here at Fletcher Family Eyecare in Jonesboro, SLT is one of the several treatments we offer for glaucoma. For more information, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment by calling (870) 930-9200.