Glaucoma is a disease that slowly causes vision loss over many years. In glaucoma, damagae occurs to the optic nerve (the nerve fiber that connects the eye to the brain) and side vision is lost. If not treated, you can lose your central vision as well.
We monitor the progression of glaucoma with several tests, including visual field tests, and scans of your optic nerve, called an OCT.
The only way to treat glaucoma is to lower the pressure in the eye. This can be achieved with eyedrops. Eyedrops must be used everyday to be effective.
Another method to lower eye pressure is with the SLT laser (also known as a Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty). In 85% of people, the SLT laser is as effective as one eye drop.
For many patients with mild glaucoma, daily glaucoma eye drops can be stopped after SLT treatment. For patients with more advanced glaucoma, the SLT can help to lower eye pressure without the need for extra eye drops.
The SLT laser has minimal side effects. These rare side effects include a gritty feeling in the eye for a few hours. Some patients have a mild sensitivity to light for a few days after the procedure.
The SLT is performed in our office. It takes about 4-6 weeks to determine if the SLT has worked, and your doctor will recheck you at that time.
SLT is an option for most glaucoma patients.