SLT Can Provide You with Effective, Convenient Treatment for Glaucoma

A woman is pointing to her right eye that is framed by a rectangle for emphasis. Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease involving excessive pressure in the eye, eventually causing damage to the optic nerves. As the disease develops, the damage can become so severe that it causes loss of vision. Fortunately, there are treatments available at our eye care practice to lower eye pressure and slow the progression of glaucoma. While medicated eye drops are a conservative treatment that can be effective for many of our patients, more aggressive treatment may be considered as well. Selective laser trabeculoplasty, available at our Austin practice, can help patients who are unable to reduce intraocular pressure with eye drops. Please contact us today to learn more.

Candidates

At Broberg Eye Care, we typically recommend that our patients begin with conservative treatment for eye diseases. For patients suffering from glaucoma, medicated eye drops are often our first treatment option. However, if we feel that eye drops are not significantly lowering a patient's intraocular pressure, or if a patient is suffering severe side effects of eye drop medication, we will consider selective laser trabeculoplasty, or SLT. SLT is one of the latest advancements in glaucoma treatment. This laser treatment can effectively lower eye pressure for patients suffering from open-angle glaucoma. Unfortunately, this is not a treatment option for patients experiencing angle-closure glaucoma. Our doctors can determine if you are a candidate for SLT treatment.

The Procedure

Selective laser trabeculoplasty begins with anesthetic eye drops. This serves to numb the eyes so that patients are free of pain throughout the procedure. With the eyes held open, a lens will be brought up to the eye. A laser will be directed at this lens and will reflect onto the meshwork in the eye. The laser creates a chemical change in the drainage tissue, allowing fluid to drain more effectively, lowering the intraocular pressure. SLT treatment is typically completed in less than half an hour.

Results

As the eye adjusts to these changes and as the fluid begins to flow from the eye, the intraocular pressure will gradually decrease. In most cases, it takes one to three months for the results of surgery to become apparent. While SLT can effectively reduce eye pressure, some patients will need to continue the use of medicated eye drops after treatment in order to prevent fluid buildup. The long-term effects of selective laser trabeculoplasty vary by patient. For some patients, the effects of SLT begin to wear off a year after treatment, while others benefit from the results for up to five years. The advantage of selective laser trabeculoplasty is that it can be repeated. If we notice the intraocular pressure begin to increase, we can perform the procedure again.

Contact Broberg Eye Care

Glaucoma is a condition that requires continual treatment and close monitoring. Selective laser trabeculoplasty is one procedure that has proven to be an effective treatment for many patients. If you would like to learn more about this procedure, contact Broberg Eye Care. We look forward to meeting you!

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