Over three million people in the United States have glaucoma. This disease is the second-most common cause of blindness and is characterized by excess pressure inside the globe of the eye. There are many different risk factors and treatment options, including a laser treatment option called selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). This is one of the most effective methods of glaucoma treatment out there today.
How Trabeculoplasty Helps Treat Glaucoma
The higher intraocular pressure that is the hallmark of glaucoma damages the structures of the eye, especially the optic nerve and the fine network of blood vessels in the retina. Selective laser trabeculoplasty helps to relieve that excess pressure by widening the angles that allow the eye fluid, called aqueous humor, to drain properly. Over time, this can help lower the need for eye drops and oral medications because the root cause of the high pressure has been addressed.
The Role of Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty in Glaucoma Treatment
For some people, laser treatment may completely replace the need for eye drops or oral medications to control intraocular pressure. For others, it’s a good complement to medication and works in conjunction with it. Not every patient will see a decline of intraocular pressure from this method of glaucoma treatment, so it’s important to have realistic expectations. Dr. Patel will work with you to devise a treatment plan to both control your glaucoma and protect your vision. The results of the procedure usually last from one to five years, making it an ongoing option in glaucoma treatment, but not necessarily a cure.
Understanding the SLT Procedure
Selective laser trabeculoplasty works by opening the drainage system that allows fluid to flow out of the eye. This is accomplished by carefully widening these openings using the laser and then applying anti-inflammatory drops to stave off swelling.
If you have glaucoma and are curious about your treatment options, the team at Wichita Vision Institute would be delighted to assess your situation and advise you of all the options available. Our office is conveniently located in Wichita, KS. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about your options regarding glaucoma treatment.