Glaucoma is an eye condition that develops when too much fluid pressure builds up inside of the eye. This increase in pressure, called intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve, which transmits images to the brain. If damage to the optic nerve from high eye pressure continues, Glaucoma will cause loss of vision.
Without treatment, Glaucoma can cause total permanent blindness within a few years. Because most people with Glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain from this increased pressure, it is important to have regular routine eye exams so that Glaucoma can be diagnosed and treated before long-term visual loss occurs.
If you have questions about Glaucoma, or to schedule an eye exam, please call us at 919.967.4836.
Is Glaucoma Hereditary?
What is the difference between ocular hypertension and glaucoma?
Is it possible to have glaucoma and cataracts at the same time?
What is SLT?
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a laser procedure that is used to lower intraocular pressure in patients with open angle glaucoma. It has been in use in the United States and other parts of the world for over 25 years. This treatment for glaucoma can be used as a first line treatment and can be used instead of or in combination with traditional glaucoma medications to help achieve lower pressures. The SLT laser is also referred to as a “cold” laser because it has minimal heat energy that is absorbed only by specific parts of the eye.
The SLT works by stimulating the part of your eye responsible for the drainage of the fluid from the front part of the eye. This causes a chemical and biological change that allow the eye to better drain the excess fluid and helps to prevent the pressure from becoming elevated. It can take one to three months before the full effects of the treatment are achieved. SLT laser is considered to be as effective as prostaglandin medications that are the most powerful and commonly prescribed medications for glaucoma. The effects from the laser generally last from one to five years and sometimes can last even longer. The laser can be safely repeated in most cases although the subsequent treatments may not be as effective as the initial procedure. The effects of the laser do not reduce the effectiveness of other glaucoma treatments that may be necessary.
SLT is approved by the FDA for treatment of glaucoma and is covered by Medicare and most medical insurance.
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