Also known as Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, SLT is a simple, yet highly effective laser procedure that reduces intraocular pressure. It is performed in your ophthalmologist’s office, and typically takes no more than five minutes.
How does SLT work?
SLT stimulates a natural healing response in the body. The laser therapy uses short pulses of low-energy light to target the melanin, or pigment, in specific cells of the eye. In response, the body’s natural healing mechanisms go to work to rebuild these cells. This rebuilding process improves drainage and lowers intraocular pressure.
Does SLT hurt?
No. SLT is painless, and there are no side effects to worry about.
What happens during the procedure?
SLT treatment takes just a few minutes to perform. Prior to treatment, your ophthalmologist will administer eye drops in order to prepare the eye and provide mild anesthesia. Then, gentle pulses of SLT laser light are delivered through a specially designed microscope, known as a slit lamp. The entire process takes just a few minutes. When it’s complete, your ophthalmologist may treat your eye with anti-inflammatory eye drops. One to three days after the procedure, your intraocular pressure should drop significantly. And of course, your ophthalmologist will want to re-check the treated eye during periodic follow-up visits.
Who will benefit from SLT?
If you fit in to any of the following categories, you’re a good candidate for SLT:
- If you have primary open-angle, pseudoexfoliation, or pigmentary glaucoma. (If you’re not sure, ask your ophthalmologist.)
- If you are intolerant of glaucoma medications, or have difficulty taking them as prescribed.
- If you are currently undergoing glaucoma drug therapy and wish to combine it with SLT.
- If it is difficult for you to commit to regular follow-up treatments, due to finances, lack of transportation, or other limitations.
- If you have a history of failed ALT (argon laser trabeculoplasty) treatments.