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February 11, 2022

Laser Treatment For Glaucoma Is Fast, Painless and Effective

An older couple standing outside together

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects over 3 million Americans in which the normal fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises. This rise in pressure can lead to vision loss, or even blindness. 

Early on, there are no noticeable symptoms, vision stays normal and there is no associated pain, so it’s very common for glaucoma to go unnoticed. Without treatment, people with glaucoma may find that they suddenly have no side vision. It may seem as though they are looking through a tunnel. Over time, the remaining forward vision may diminish until there is no vision left.

Laser Treatment for Glaucoma

Open angle glaucoma treatment concentrates on lowering the pressure inside the eye to prevent damage to the optic nerve. The most common treatments for glaucoma are eye drops and laser treatment. Laser treatments and some medications allow for faster drainage of the fluid within the eye, while other medications reduce the amount of fluid produced. If medications and lasers fail to reduce the pressure, incision surgery may be required.

Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT) 

With traditional argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT) small evenly spaced burns are made in the drainage area of the eye, allowing fluid to drain more easily. Success of ALT varies; this treatment provides quick relief of eye pressure but may cause scarring that makes it difficult to repeat treatment.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is an advanced type of laser treatment that targets very specific cells in the eye to achieve the improved drainage of fluid. SLT is thought to be a more gentle treatment than ALT and produces less scarring, so it’s easier and safer to repeat the process if needed.

The SLT treatment is performed in the office and takes only about 5 minutes to complete. Prior to the treatment eye drops are placed in the eye to prepare the eye for the treatment. Following the treatment anti-inflammatory drops are also used for a short period of time. SightMD has many offices with the capability to perform glaucoma laser treatments. Call today for an appointment.