Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

About Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a common safe ‘cold laser’ procedure to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with glaucoma. 

High pressure inside the eye is caused due to an imbalance in the production and drainage of fluids in the eye. The channels that drain the fluid from inside the eye do not function properly, increasing the IOP. This increased pressure may cause glaucoma or progressive damage to the optic nerves. It may also lead to gradual vision loss.

SLT is an outpatient procedure that reduces this increased pressure inside your eye, thus improving drainage from the eye through the natural channel.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty Crestview & Okaloosa County

Learn More About Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

Recent trials comparing eye drops and SLT showed consistent control of IOP and better cost-effectiveness with SLT than with eye drops for the management of glaucoma and ocular hypertension

Some people find that the eye drops are not effective enough or that there are undesirable side effects from the medications. Patient non-compliance with medication eye drops is also a challenge and ranges from 29-76%. In all such cases, SLT is a great first line of treatment option. 

SLT is not a cure for glaucoma and cannot reverse the damage that the disease has already done. SLT can, however,  relieve eye pressure, slow or halt the progression of optic nerve damage, and possibly decrease the number of medication drops.

If you are considering SLT as a glaucoma treatment, Dr. Alabata will examine your eyes and make a final determination regarding your candidacy for SLT.

Your ophthalmologist will instill a numbing drop in your eye and rest a contact lens on the front surface of the eye. This helps focus the laser.

A cold laser beam is directed specifically to the drainage tissue of the eye that controls the eye pressure.  This creates a cascade of events that improve the drainage over time to help lower the eye pressure.  The blocked drainage ducts are opened due to the laser-based biochemical changes to tissues. You will see a series of bright lights similar to a camera’s flashlights. The procedure is very quick and takes less than 2-5 minutes

The selective laser targets only specific cells, leaving the surrounding tissue intact. Cold laser energy minimizes discomfort or any scar tissue development and promotes the body’s natural cellular activity. 

It is normal for the eye to be red, tender, and light-sensitive for the first few days following the procedure.  There are no limitations in activity following the laser treatment. 

Mild Inflammation following SLT is managed conservatively for a few days after the surgery. 

Overall, SLT is very safe and has fewer side effects compared to traditional glaucoma eye drops.

Eye pressure drops as quickly as within a day after SLT. Patients can expect to experience the full effects of treatment within a month or two after the procedure.

Effects typically last for one to five years but may wear off over time. Some people have experienced the benefits of SLT for up to five years. 

In rare cases, SLT patients may see a return of glaucoma-based pressure in their eyes within six to 12 months of surgery. If this happens, Dr. Alabata will recommend treatment options based on your unique case to include repeating the SLT. 

Generally, SLT helps patients maintain their target IOP and reduces the risk of progression into advanced stages of glaucoma.    

Glaucoma is a silent disease and may cause irreversible harm even before there is any detectable vision loss. If you have glaucoma, it is very important that you protect your vision by keeping your scheduled appointment recommended by your ophthalmologist. If you need to, schedule now by filling this form or calling us at (850) 331-3937 to discuss with Dr. Phil Alabata if you are a candidate for SLT Therapy.