Approximately 3 out of 4 ocular hypertension or early glaucoma patients may enjoy a drop free life. Be aware that the effect on the eye pressure may take up to 2-3 months to show.
There are certain types of glaucoma (e.g. angle closure glaucoma) where SLT is not recommended. I will discuss your suitability at the consultation prior to the procedure.
SLT is very safe. It is a “cold” type of laser, which uses low energy light and generates minimal heat, hence it doesn’t cause tissue destruction, in contrast to other types of laser.
It is called “selective” because it is absorbed by selected pigmented tissue in the eye. It triggers a chemical and biological change in the trabecular meshwork, which improves the drainage of fluid out of the eye.
It may cause some inflammation in the eye, which is easily treated with a short cause of drops. Rarely, the eye pressure can increase after the procedure, especially the first day. I will monitor you closely and will be able to deal with any “spike” in eye pressure, which is usually transient and resolves with a short course of drops.
It usually takes about 15 minutes per eye.
Before the laser, your eye will be numb with anaesthetic drops. You will feel the contact lens on your eye which might cause slight discomfort. The laser itself can sometimes cause minimal “pricking” sensation.
In most cases, you can resume normal activities the following day. I will advise you on any additional drops you may require for a few days.
It depends on your personal circumstances. In approximately three quarters of patients with ocular hypertension, drops can be stopped or at least reduced.
In most cases the effect lasts more than a year, but if the eye pressure increases it can be repeated.
This purpose of SLT is not to improve your vision but to preserve your eyes from further deterioration due to glaucoma.