SLT Is a common laser procedure to help treat and control eye pressure in glaucoma. It is a “cold” laser, and generally a painless procedure where light energy is applied to the area within the eye where the natural fluid drains out of the eye. It can be used as first line treatment in glaucoma or as an additional treatment. We are happy to be able to offer our patients this therapeutic option in our office.
SLT is a laser treatment for open-angle glaucoma that lowers eye pressure. It can be used as initial treatment, instead of eye drop medications, or as additional treatment when medications do not adequately reduce the eye pressure. It is often effective but that effectiveness may wear off after some period of time. It can be repeated but the effect may be reduced with repeat treatment. SLT is not a cure for glaucoma but one of many tools to keep it under control.
Cold Laser energy is applied to the drainage tissue in the eye. This starts a chemical and biological change in the tissue that results in better drainage of fluid through the drain and out of the eye. This eventually results in lowering of IOP. It may take 1-3 months for the results to appear. In our experience most patients do experience some lowering of pressure after the procedure, though some may have a greater pressure lowering then others. SLT lowers the IOP by about 30% when used as initial therapy. This is comparable to the IOP lowering of the most powerful and commonly used class of glaucoma medication (prostaglandin analogs). This effect may be reduced if the patient is already on glaucoma medications. The effect will generally last between 1-5 years, and in some cases, longer than that. If it does not last at least 6-12 months, it is usually not considered successful.
Overall we have a positive response clinically with SLT laser, and I believe patients appreciate the procedure as well and realize the effectiveness it can have.