What is SLT?

SLT stands for “Selective Light Therapy”. SLT is a gentle, non-invasive laser therapy used to treat glaucoma.

What are the advantages of SLT?

  • SLT is not associated with systemic side effects.
  • SLT is free of the compliance and cost issues associated with drug therapy.
  • SLT stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanisms to enhance outflow of the fluid in your eye, thereby reducing intraocular pressure without causing any damage to the sensitive structures in the eye.
  • SLT therapy is reimbursed by Medicare and many other insurance providers, which minimizes your out-of-pocket expenses.

How is SLT performed?

SLT is an outpatient procedure and takes only a few minutes. You will sit in a conventional exam chair, where the doctor will use a specially-designed microscope (slit lamp) to examine your eye. This slit lamp also contains the laser which delivers the SLT treatment. During the procedure, the doctor will put anesthetic drops in your eye to numb it, and then place a lens on your eye for better viewing.

Will I feel anything with the laser treatment?

The treatment does not cause any pain. The lens used on your eye in order to focus the laser may cause some redness/irritation, however. You may also see the green flash of the laser light.

How often do I need to undergo SLT?

One application of SLT treatment typically results in pressure reduction for several years. Depending on your individual circumstances, however, another application may be needed at some point in the future.

How does SLT work?

SLT uses pulses of gentle laser light to stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanism in order to lower your eye pressure. Using a special wavelength and energy, the laser affects only the pigmented (melanin containing) cells of your eye to improve the outflow of fluid, which in turn lowers your eye pressure.

How do I know SLT has worked?

There is no sensation/feeling associated with SLT treatment. You will require follow-up visits with your doctor to monitor the success of the treatment.

Does SLT work for all types of glaucoma?

There are several different types of glaucoma. While SLT works for most types of glaucoma, it does not work for all. Your doctor will know the appropriate course of action.

Will I still need to continue using my eye drops following SLT treatment?

Each individual is different. Although there is a chance you can eliminate or reduce medications, SLT treatment cannot guarantee this.

How long will I have to wait to experience the full treatment effect of the SLT laser?

Again, each individual is different. Some people may respond as soon as one hour after treatment, or as much as a few months later. Continued monitoring and follow-up with your doctor is needed in order to determine your response to the treatment.

How long is the recovery?

Your doctor may treat your eye with anti-inflammatory eye drops following treatment, but this will not affect your vision. Immediately following treatment you will be able to complete everyday activities, including driving your car.

What are the side effects?

Though infrequent, possible side effects may include inflammation, temporary increase in eye pressure, eye pain, or inflammation of the conjunctiva (the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye).

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