What is SLT?
SLT, or selective laser trabeculoplasty, is a non-painful laser procedure performed in the office to lower eye pressure in those patients who fall under on or more category.
It is used in those patients who need to start treatment and may be able to delay the use of medicines used once or several times a day for many years.
It is also used for those for whom treatment is not giving adequate control of the disease.
It can be used in those who need to reduce their medicines due to side effects experienced as due to medications.
How does SLT work to reduce eye pressure?
Laser energy is applied to the natural drainage structure of the eye which is called the trabecular meshwork. The trabecular meshwork is located in the front of the eye, like a long window or drain that runs like a circular band around the eye. This is the natural drainage pathway for fluid inside the eye. SLT stimulates and enhances the trabecular meshwork’s natural function to increase the amount of fluid drained from within the eye in a natural way. This increased drainage lowers eye pressure. The treatment begins to work in a week and its full effect may take up to one month.
Who needs SLT?
Patients with open-angle glaucoma who need improvement in eye pressure control. The treatment can be done or if needed repeated for enhanced effect. This treatment can be used alone or as an addition to the regular use of eye drops that are used to control eye pressure.
What are the benefits of SLT ?
On average, the laser can lower the eye pressure by about significantly, up to 20-30 percent which is often enough to meet the goal of treatment. The laser is highly effective in lowering eye pressure in 80% of patients. The laser effect wears off after several years, but the trabecular meshwork can be stimulated again with repeat laser. SLT does not affect the success rates or the eligibility of getting other medical or surgical treatments. Your eye specialist, who is trained in the use of this laser is the best judge of whether you are a good candidate for it.
Are there risks with the use of SLT?
Compared to many other treatments for glaucoma, including eye drops that may need to be used once or more often during the day, or other older laser treatments and invasive surgery, SLT has very few side effects. Done correctly on the most up to date lasers the procedure is very safe and patient respond very well. Mild Inflammation is possible after the use of the laser but quite uncommon and easily manageable. Anti-inflammatory drops may be given on an individual basis for a few days after the laser. There is a small risk of temporary high eye pressures shortly following the laser treatment and a patient is monitored for this. If it occurs it is usually very easily controlled with glaucoma medications.
Dr. Mahnaz Naveed Shah, heads the glaucoma department The Eye Center. She is recognized nationally as one of the best eye specialists and eye surgeons in Karachi, Pakistan. Dr. Mahnaz Shah has extensive experience in the medical and surgical treatment of glaucoma patients. For an evaluation or for an appointment to undergo selective laser trabeculoplasty or SLT at The The Eye Center, please call 0304 111 9544 or 0302 829 1799 or use our web portal for an appointment.