Laser surgery has become increasingly popular as an alternative method of treating pressure.
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Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty is a treatment for patients who have open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. It is used when eye drop medications are not lowering the eye pressure enough or are causing significant side effects.
It can also be used as initial treatment for glaucoma.
The trabecular meshwork is around the periphery of the iris and is where fluid made in the eye drains out of the eye. This meshwork is treated directly with the laser to improve drainage through it, thereby lowering the eye pressure.
The treatment takes place in the Cork Eye Clinic. You will be asked to attend the clinic in advance of the treatment time. Drops will be applied to your eye to prevent the pressure rising within the eye. The drops take up to one hour to work.
Once seated in front of the laser machine, which is similar to the microscope you will have been examined with in clinic, a special lens will be placed against the front surface of your eye. During the laser treatment you might see some flashes of light and hear clicking noises. The procedure is painless and takes about 15 minutes.
About 30 minutes after the laser treatment the pressure in your eye will be checked. You should relax for the rest of the day. Your pressures will be checked again in clinic after six weeks.
Your vision may be slightly blurred for a few hours following your laser treatment but this will settle. It is advisable that you do not drive yourself for your laser treatment as you will be unable to drive home.
We have been performing SLT in clinic since March 2014.
According to an in-house audit of our SLT patients 95% have achieved a satisfactory lowering of their intraocular pressure with SLT.
Patients who undergo SLT as the primary treatment for open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension achieve on average a 23% reduction in their intraocular pressure.
We have treated a number of patients who have succeed in stopping their glaucoma drops due to the satisfactory intraocular pressure drop achieved with SLT alone.
The effects of the laser treatment may wear off over time – about half of all treatments stop working after 5 years, but treatment can be successfully repeated.
According to a recent multicentre randomised controlled trial, published in the Lancent in March 2019, Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty should be offered as a first-line treatment for open angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
To learn more about the SLT procedure, and if you are a good candidate, please contact the Cork Eye Clinic on 021 4341030 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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