The treatment of the eye condition called glaucoma has many options. The buildup of pressure in the eyeballs can cause complete loss of vision if the glaucoma is left untreated. While this condition cannot be completely cured, it can be managed with the many treatment options that are available.
The treatment options of glaucoma include medicines in the form of pills, eye drops, surgical treatment, laser surgery etc. Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty or SLT is a laser treatment of glaucoma that reduces the intraocular pressure in the glaucoma. For slt to succeed, it is important that you choose it as a treatment option in the early stages of your glaucoma. So if treatment options like eye drops or medicines are not working well for you and are causing uncomfortable side effects, you can explore slt as a treatment option for your glaucoma.
Here’s all you need to know about why slt therapy for glaucoma should be your choice of treatment.
Early Stage Treatment
If your glaucoma is in the early stages which means the primary or secondary open angle glaucoma where the drainage system in the front of the eye is open, then you can easily opt for slt treatment to lower your intraocular pressure. Of course, your opthamologist will test you further to determine whether you are the right candidate for this treatment or not. But if you are eligible, slt treatment can be effective for upto five years without any major side effects or consequences.
SLT is also a great option for glaucoma treatment because it is focused on selected pigmented tissue in the eyes, so this causes minimal scar tissue and pain. There are no serious risks to this glaucoma treatment except some mild swelling or inflammation which is treatable with eye drops and other medications. In the case of the 5% chance of IOP elevation, it can be treated with medications and will show results in a day or two.
Same Effect As Eye Drops
For treating glaucoma, SLT therapy for glaucoma reduces the IOP by 30% when used first. The effect of SLT is the same as that of popular glaucoma medications like prostaglandin analogs. The effect of this treatment lasts up to five years, but if it fails to be effective for at least six to twelve months, then this treatment for glaucoma is considered ineffective. Although, it is important to note that the SLT treatment for glaucoma will not be as effective if the glaucoma is already being treated with medication.
Repetitive in Nature
One of the pros of the SLT treatment for glaucoma is that, it can be repeated every few years when the effect of SLT is wearing off. After the first SLT treatment, if the effect is wearing off after 5 years or so, you can repeat the process and then you’re set for another five years. You can also switch to glaucoma medication after the first SLT treatment fades away.
Also, know that in the case of SLT being ineffective in treating your glaucoma, your doctor will put you on other glaucoma medications. If the SLT is ineffective, it doesn’t mean it has worsened your glaucoma further. It means it just didn’t work as a treatment for you, so you can try other treatment options.
Covered by Insurance
SLT treatment is recognised by the FDA as a treatment for glaucoma so you don’t have to worry about the cost because it can be covered under your medical insurance, depending on your cover.
SLT as a treatment option for glaucoma is quite effective and gives you a large part of your usual life back. In most cases if it has worked completely, then you won’t need another treatment for at least a few years. It is an in office procedure, so you don’t have to be anxious about it.