Selective laser trabeculoplasty, or SLT, is a gentle and non-invasive treatment for glaucoma. This quick and simple procedure is an effective option for most glaucoma patients. Highly effective, SLT is used as primary treatment for early stages of open angle glaucoma, and can also be used in combination with drug therapy, or as an alternative therapy when drugs fail. It is also a flexible treatment option, because it can be repeated, if necessary, depending on the individual patient's response.
This is an office procedure lasting approximately 10 minutes and has minimal discomfort during the procedure. One is usually able to resume normal activities following SLT, but occasionally patients may experience mild light sensitivity, eye pain, or blurring for a few hours after the procedure. These symptoms are usually alleviated by anti-inflammatories. If significant discomfort occurs please contact Dr. Walker's office.
In most cases, SLT initially lowers intraocular pressure, although this may take up to six weeks for an effect to be measured. After time, however, intraocular pressure may begin to increase. Approximately 80% of people get a good response for 1 year, 30-50% for 5 years, and 10% for 10 years. The procedure lowers pressure by causing the channels that drain fluid from the eye to widen on a microscopic level, thus allowing more fluid to leave the eye.
The SLT technique is not associated with adverse side effects and is a pain-free, outpatient-based procedure performed in Dr. Walker's office.