SLT

Glaucoma is an eye disease that if left untreated can lead to blindness, however, because there is no noticeable pain or symptoms, many patients do not even know that they have it. In patients with glaucoma, the eye pressure is so high that it gradually damages the optic nerve.

Adult glaucoma falls broadly into two categories: Open Angle Glaucoma or Closed (or Narrow) Angle Glaucoma). A healthy eye is filled with clear fluid that flows out through a drain called the trabecular meshwork. In a patient with glaucoma, the drainage system of the eye becomes blocked and ineffective. The fluid cannot drain out and this raises the eye pressure which can lead to loss of sight if not treated.

In the case of Open Angle Glaucoma, while the entrances to the drainage canals are clear and work properly, there is a problem with clogging inside the canal (similar to a clogged pipe below the drain in a sink). For such cases, the goal is to lower the eye pressure. Initially eye drop medication maybe used. Another common treatment for Open Angle Glaucoma is a laser treatment called Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, or SLT. With SLT a laser treatment is applied to the trabecular meshwork. This treatment induces biological changes of the drainage system so that fluid can drain more effectively. Because fluid can drain out, eye pressure is lowered.

An SLT treatment takes only a few minutes and at NY Vision Group, it is typically performed in the office. This treatment is safe and FDA approved. Clinical trials have shown strong evidence of its effectiveness in reducing eye pressure in most glaucoma patients. The laser can be repeated and is usually covered by health insurance plans.

For Closed (Narrow) Angle glaucoma, a laser procedure called LPI can eliminate the problem