Advancements in Glaucoma Treatments: Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty
Article courtesy of RGB Eye Associates
Glaucoma is an eye disease caused by the failure of the eye to properly drain eye fluids, causing a gradual narrowing of the field of vision until patients feel like they have only a narrow tunnel of sight remaining. This eye disease is very serious and, left untreated, often results in blindness.
Glaucoma generally takes one of two forms: open-angle or chronic glaucoma and closed-angle or acute glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, affects about three million Americans.
The doctors of RGB Eye Associates are very excited to share with their patients a new and very effective technology for treating open angle glaucoma, called SLT or Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty. This glaucoma treatment is a type of laser surgery that is quickly becoming the preferred treatment for glaucoma nationwide.
Until recently, northeast Texas and southeast Oklahoma residents had to go to Dallas or other large cities for these kinds of cutting-edge eye treatments. But now SLT is available at RGB Eye Associates in its Sherman, Texas ophthalmology office that is conveniently located and easily accessible to Texoma residents.
Before SLT’s advanced laser technique was developed, treatment for open-angle glaucoma included treating eye tissue by ALT laser. SLT is both a more gentle way to treat the eye as well as more focused than the prior, older approach. SLT doesn’t damage or scar surrounding tissue. Another advantage to SLT laser technology for open-angle glaucoma is that treatment can sometimes be repeated if necessary. Initially used as a treatment option for glaucoma patients who failed to successfully control their glaucoma with eye drops, SLT has become the first-choice treatment of glaucoma for many ophthalmologists and patients.
How It Works
SLT selectively targets certain cells in the meshwork (called the trabecular meshwork) that drains eye fluids, which is how fluid pressure in the eye is regulated, and uses laser beams to “unclog” the drains. By treating this drainage area with a combination of low frequency lasers, eye fluid drainage is increased without burning any surrounding tissues, which was a risk with older laser technologies. SLT is usually performed in the office and takes one a minute or two, though one hour should be set aside from start to finish.
SLT produces great results, which is why RGB’s eye doctors are so happy to be able to offer the procedure to glaucoma sufferers in Sherman, Ada, Ardmore, and other residents of northeast Texas and southeast Oklahoma without patients having to travel outside the Texoma region. The many benefits of SLT eye treatment include:
Immediate improved drainage of eye fluids, thus reducing intraocular pressure (IOP),
No burning or scarring of surrounding eye tissue.
No need for glaucoma medications and eye drops, which can be costly for patients and may have adverse side effects.
SLT can be repeated over time if needed.
SLT is an excellent alternative for patients whose glaucoma was not successfully managed with eye drops, other medications, or traditional laser surgery.
The procedure is quick and painless. SLT requires no needles, no cutting, and no stitches. From beginning to end, the office visit takes about one hour, with the SLT procedure usually taking between one to two minutes.
The procedure is usually covered by insurance companies and Medicare, but be sure to check with your own carrier.
It is safe for those with diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or poor circulation.
One treatment may last for up to five years.
SLT uses FDA-approved laser technology to treat glaucoma. Although RGB Eye Associates of Texas is committed to making the latest eye procedures and glaucoma treatments available to residents of the Sherman, Ardmore, Ada area and to glaucoma sufferers throughout north Texas and southern Okalahoma, patient safety remains our first priority. Thousands of SLT procedures have been safely and successfully performed in America with great results, and this technology has been available in Europe for many years. RGB is very pleased to be able to offer SLT glaucoma treatment at our Sherman Texas office with the utmost confidence in one of the most exciting advancements in glaucoma treatment to come along in quite a while. This advanced laser treatment is a safe and nearly miraculous way of preventing blindness caused by glaucoma.
For more information on Glaucoma and SLT technology, give RGB Eye Associates a call today at 903-892-3282.