Patient Education

Don’t let glaucoma steal your sight, see how SLT therapy can help control your glaucoma

Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease that can cause permanent damage leading to vision loss and blindness without warning or symptoms. You may be visiting this Web site because you or someone you know was diagnosed with glaucoma or may be at risk for developing the eye disease.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, or SLT (pioneered by Lumenis), glaucoma therapy, is an effective and convenient laser surgery for glaucoma we have developed in our ongoing effort to prevent glaucoma from “stealing” vision in glaucoma patients.

About Glaucoma

What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause blindness without warning or symptoms. Three million Americans have it today but only half know they have it and the others go untreated. Glaucoma vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve – the part of the eye that carries images we see to the brain.

Definition of Glaucoma
Glaucoma eye disease is a degenerative disease that if left untreated can cause permanent damage to the optic nerve resulting in gradual vision loss and eventual blindness. Damage to the optic nerve, due to glaucoma, is usually caused by an elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). Clear fluid, called aqueous humor circulates through the eye providing nourishment to the tissues pressure to help maintain the shape of the eye.
Open Angle Glaucoma (OAG), occurs when there is an increase in fluid production or a decrease in fluid drainage. Over time, as the optic nerve fibers are destroyed, peripheral (side) vision is lost.

Blocked fluid flow
Aqueous humor flows out of the eye through the Trabecular Meshwork (TM), near the edge of the iris. If the TM is blocked, restricting drainage, the pressure inside the eye increases. This elevated eye pressure results in damage to the optic nerve and vision loss occurs.

Glaucoma Treatment Options

Today, there is no cure for glaucoma. However, there are treatment options combining medication, laser surgery for glaucoma that may prevent further or stop vision loss by controlling the number one risk factor of glaucoma – high levels of IOP.

How do you treat Glaucoma?

Glaucoma Medicine
Up to now, controlling unsafe levels of IOP has been primarily accomplished by using eye drops

Laser Surgery for Glaucoma
Advances in laser surgery are providing effective alternatives to treat glaucoma. Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, or SLT, is a highly effective out-patient laser procedure that reduces IOP by stimulating a natural healing response. SLT, a patented low energy laser treatment method, uses a unique combination of minimal energy and short laser pulses. One-time SLT treatment results in eye pressure drop equivalent to the pressure drop experienced from daily use of eye drops. However, SLT is not associated with the systemic side effects, cost issues, and need for daily use.

In surgery a tiny drainage hole is made in the sclera (the white part of the eye). This new hole facilitates fluid outflow which in turn lowers IOP. Another variation of this procedure involves a shunt that is surgically implanted in the eye. The tubes within the shunt decrease IOP by bypassing blocked cellular tissue.

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