When eye drop medications are not enough for open-angle glaucoma, selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) may be an option.

SLT uses low energy laser pulses to treat open-angle glaucoma by targeting the pigmented cells in the drainage tissue of the eye, thereby lowering the intraocular pressure (IOP).

Is SLT Right for Me?

Glaucoma can be a debilitating and taxing disease. SLT treatment may help you manage the symptoms of glaucoma. Candidates diagnosed with glaucoma may benefit from the SLT procedure if they:

  • Would like to stop their use of eye drops
  • Cannot afford eye drops
  • Cannot handle the side effects of eye drops
  • Find glaucoma eye drops are not reducing intraocular pressure

SLT Procedure

SLT takes place in the same chair your usual eye examination would. It involves no needles or incisions and only takes a few minutes per eye.

The SLT procedure includes the following steps:

  • An anesthetic drop is put on the eye to numb it.
  • Your surgeon will apply multiple nanosecond pulses of a “cold” laser to the melanin (pigmented cells) in your eye.

The energy that is absorbed from these targeted cells will promote a natural healing process within the body that cleans out and widens pores in the drainage system of the eye. Fluid can then flow out of eye’s drainage pipes more easily, thus decreasing the pressure in the eye.

The procedure is not painful and patients occasionally describe a very mild “pinching” sensation.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty Recovery

SLT is an outpatient procedure, meaning patients may return home and to normal activities after treatment. The intraocular pressure is reduced in the eye after the procedure, and the full effect of SLT can take up to 3 months. Blurred vision is common up to 24 hours after SLT treatment and slight irritation is not uncommon for up to two days.

Patients should continue taking glaucoma medications in addition to other prescribed eye drops. A follow-up appointment will be necessary to gauge the IOP and check your glaucoma symptoms.

SLT effects can last 2-5 years in patients, but the treatment is repeatable for glaucoma.

Affordability & Insurance

The FDA approved SLT as a glaucoma treatment in 2001. Due to its use of low-level energy, SLT can safely be repeated if needed and does not hinder any future eye surgeries. Because glaucoma is a medical condition, SLT is usually covered by insurance, including Medicare.

Milan Eye Center will review your options with you during your initial consultation.

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It’s the right time for clearer vision

Our knowledgeable staff is here to answer all of your questions regarding glaucoma treatment and what will be the best treatment for you. Make an appointment today at one of our seven convenient locations.

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