SLT (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty)
Another way to lower eye pressure is with laser therapy.
A common laser treatment for glaucoma is called selective laser trabeculoplasty, or SLT. Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a widely accepted glaucoma treatment option. By using this laser technology, ophthalmologists can lower pressure, thus potentially avoiding, possible side effects of medication and more invasive surgery down the line. SLT might even reduce the dependence on medications or drops in glaucoma patients.
SLT treatment takes only a few minutes, is performed in the office or minor procedure room, is safe, and effectively lowers eye pressure in most people. The process typically involves numbing the eye with topical eye drops so that you will not feel the laser treatment. A lens is applied to the eye to prevent any unwanted movement and ensure safe delivery of the laser energy. In SLT, laser treatment is applied to the drain of your eye in order to open it up and let fluid exit the eye more efficiently. The treatment is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating glaucoma and is covered by essentially all insurance plans. After the procedure, anti-inflammatory drops are used. Laser surgery is still surgery, and can carry some risks. Some people experience a short-term increase in their intraocular pressure soon after surgery.
Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI)
In angle closure or narrow angle glaucoma, the iris physically obstructs the internal drain of the eye. This causes fluid build-up and intraocular pressure mounts.
When a patient has narrow angles, fluid cannot move through the pupil normally, due to excessive contact between the iris and lens. Fluid builds up behind the iris, pushing it forward, further narrowing the angle and leading to excessively high intraocular pressures in predisposed individuals. LPI is a procedure that can be used top treat narrow angles.
Laser peripheral iridotomy is generally recommended for patients with narrow angles, narrow angle glaucoma, or acute angle closure glaucoma. If a pupillary blockage occurs this procedure will be suggested. LPI can be used to lower the intraocular pressure as well as prevent another attack of angle closure glaucoma. If your physician determines that your angles are significantly narrow, putting you at risk for acute angle closure, laser peripheral iridotomy may be recommended.
Laser peripheral iridotomy treatment takes only a few minutes, is performed in the office or minor procedure room, is safe, and effective for most people. First, the eye is numbed and a lens is applied to the ocular surface to stabilize the eye and prevent unwanted movement. Next, laser energy is used to make a small opening in the iris. This small opening helps alter anatomy inside the eye to maintain a more open passageway to the drains of the eye. It’s important to understand that the drains in the eye and the passageway to them are different. It is possible to have poor flow through the drains of the eye as well as a narrow passageway to them. The purpose of this procedure is ensure that fluid made inside the eye may get to the drains in the eye.
Argon laser peripheral iridoplasty (ALPI) is a laser surgical technique designed to reduce or eliminate any residual angle narrowing when laser iridotomy fails to open a closed angle or when laser iridotomy is not possible.
Glaucoma Second Opinions
If you are a glaucoma patient or would like to be screened for glaucoma, call OCLI today to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our renowned Long Island glaucoma specialists. If you want a second opinion on a diagnosis related to glaucoma treatment option, please feel free to call us.