Why is it important to reduce the intraocular pressure?
The aqueous eye fluid is produced and drained continuously in order to maintain the equilibrium on the health of the cornea and the eye lens. So if this drainage is reduced, the intraocular pressure rises and there is the risk of glaucoma appearance (alteration in the optic nerve and the visual field that threaten vision). A new laser treatment for glaucoma is the SLT (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty – Selective Laser trabeculoplasty).
What is SLT?
What exactly is SLT?
The SLT comes from the following initials: Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (Selective Laser trabeculoplasty). It is an effective laser process which reduces the intraocular pressure associated with the disease of glaucoma. Treatment time usually does not exceed 5 minutes. The SLT is non-thermal and non-invasive laser that allows the process to be repeated, as appropriate (i.e. it is effective).
How does it work?
How does the SLT technology work?
The SLT laser uses low energy light shots aimed at the melanin or the pigment found in specific cells in the affected eye. As a response, the body’s healing mechanisms recreate these cells. This process substantially improves the eye’s drainage mechanism thereby reducing the intraocular pressure. The SLT lowers the intraocular pressure by an average of 25 to 30% in 75-85% of patients undergoing the treatment. If the SLT does not work, then other forms of treatment such as medical or surgical treatment may be more effective.
How is the procedure with the SLT laser performed?
Before surgery, anesthetic drops are instilled. Then the laser is applied through a special observation system. The procedure takes a few minutes. After surgery, usually no special treatment is required. After about three days, the intraocular pressure decreases significantly (20-30% at a rate of almost 75-80% of patients onto which it is applied). Of course, the patient should continue their regular monitoring by their doctor.
Who is eligible to SLT?
Who is eligible to SLT?
- with ocular hypertension, open-angle glaucoma, pseudoexfoliative or pigmentary glaucoma, allergy to glaucoma medications
- who wish to stop / reduce glaucoma eyedrops
- who have not found results with the ALT laser treatment (Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty)
It is the application of this Laser painful?
It is completely painless and does not involve individual risks for the eye.
How often can the application be repeated?
The SLT method is a mild and non destructive interference resulting in the possibility of frequent, if necessary, repetitions. This is in contrast with previous approaches to treatment with Argon Laser (ALT) in which there occurs a significant abuse and scarring of the region.
What if SLT fails in my case?
This does not affect the eye’s reaction to the continuation of drug therapy or a possible surgery.
What are the other alternatives except the SLT, for a glaucoma patient?
- pharmaceutical treatment
- surgical treatment
- trabeculoplasty with Argon Laser
All the above methods have certain disadvantages that you can discuss in detail with your ophthalmologist. By contrast, the new method (SLT) lacks practical disadvantages even in case of failure.