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.

Lumenis Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty - SLT glaucoma therapy, is an effective and convenient treatment option we have developed in our ongoing effort to prevent glaucoma from “stealing” vision.

We invite you to explore this Website to learn about the eye disease and the importance of regular eye exams, proper diagnosis,
and appropriate treatment options in managing glaucoma and preserving vision.

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Q: What is SLT?

A: SLT stands for Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty. This is a non-destructive laser procedure used to treat glaucoma by reducing the pressure in the eye.

Q: What are the advantages of SLT?

A: There are a few key reasons why SLT may be deemed beneficial for you:

  • Safe: SLT is not associated with systemic side effects or the compliance and cost issues of medications.
  • Selective: SLT utilizes selective photothermolysis to target only specific cells, leaving the surrounding tissue intact.

  • Smart: SLT stimulates the body's natural mechanisms to enhance outflow of the fluid in your eye.

  • Sensible: SLT therapy is reimbursed by Medicare and many other insurance providers, which minimizes your out-of-pocket expenses.

    SLT does not rely on medicines, instead, uses an advanced laser system to target only specific cells of the eye—those containing melanin, a natural pigment. This allows for only these cells to be affected, leaving surrounding tissue in tact. As a result, your body's own healing response helps lower the pressure in your eye.

Q: How is SLT performed?

A: SLT is an outpatient procedure. You will sit in a conventional exam chair, where the doctor will use a slit lamp to examine your eye. The same slit lamp contains the SLT laser. During the procedure, the doctor will put anesthetic drops in your eye to numb it, and then place a lens on your eye for better viewing. The laser is applied to the edge of your pupil. The entire procedure only takes a few moments.

Q: How do I know SLT has worked?

A: There is no sensation associated with an SLT procedure. You will require follow up visits with your doctor to monitor the success of the treatment. 

Q: How often do I need to receive SLT treatments?

A: One application typically lasts for many years. Depending on your individual circumstances and goals, another application may be needed at some point in the future. 

Q: How does SLT work?

A: SLT works by using laser light to stimulate the body's own healing response to lower your eye pressure. Using a special wavelength and energy, the laser affects only pigmented (melanin containing) cells of your eye. SLT improves the flow of fluid in the eye, which in turn lowers your eye pressure. 

Q: Is SLT right for me?

A: Only your doctor knows what is best for your individual needs. SLT may be the right option for you, simply ask your doctor to find out more. 

Q: Are there other options available?

A: There are other laser, surgery or medical options available. You should talk to your doctor to find out which approach is best for you. 

Q: Does SLT work for all types of Glaucoma?

A: There are different types of glaucoma. While SLT works on most, it does not work for all. Your doctor will know the appropriate course of action. 

Q: Will I still need to continue using my eyedrops following the SLT procedure?

A: Maybe. Each individual is different. Although there is a chance you can eliminate or reduce medications, SLT cannot guarantee this. 

Q: How long will I have to wait to experience the full treatment effect of the SLT laser?

A: People can respond as soon as an hour after treatment, or as much as a few months later. Continued monitoring and follow up with determine the response of therapy. 

Q: How long is the recovery?

A: The doctor may treat your eye with anti-inflammatory eye drops that will be continued for a few days after the procedure. Patients have no limitations after the treatment and are able to drive home. Your doctor will schedule a follow up appointment to evaluate your results. 

Q: What are the side effects?

A: Though infrequent, possible side effects may include inflammation, temporary increase in eye pressure, eye pain, or inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye.
Glaucoma SLT Therapy


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 is a degenerative eye 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.


Are You at Risk for Glaucoma?

There are several known risk factors associated with glaucoma including:

  • High intraocular pressure (IOP)- pressure of the eye exceeds healthy pressure 
  • Race – African Americans and Hispanics are at higher risk for glaucoma than European Americans. In fact, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African-Americans. 
  • Heredity – Family history increases risk of glaucoma four to nine times. 
  • Age – Individuals 60 and older are six times more likely to suffer from glaucoma than younger people

    Types of Glaucoma

    There are several different types of glaucoma.   Although glaucoma is commonly considered a disease of aging, infants and children may experience pediatric glaucoma. Sometimes glaucoma may also be caused by trauma to the eye or side effects of certain medications such as steroids.   

    Primary Open Angle Glaucoma
    This is the most common form of glaucoma and happens when the eyes drainage system – the trabecular meshwork becomes blocked, creating a subsequent rise in IOP.

    Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma
    The occurrence of this type of glaucoma is much lower than Primary Open Angle Glaucoma. 

    Learn More About the Different Types of Glaucoma 

    Early Diagnosis

    Early detection is vital to stopping the progress of the eye disease as glaucoma is naturally progressive without treatment. 


Primary Open Angle Glaucoma

It is the most common type of glaucoma that affects many millions world-wide. This form of glaucoma is a result of the natural draining mechanism of the eye becomes clogged causing an increase in eye pressure. This draining mechanism or pipes become clogged which does not allow the free flow of fluids from inside the eye to exit the eye.

Unfortunately, this clogging does not have any symptoms and only early diagnosis can detect this condition. This type of glaucoma results in a gradual loss of vision that can lead to blindness. Fortunately, medical treatments are available to slow or maintain the progression of this disease.

Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma

Is a less common form of glaucoma that results when the draining mechanism of the eye is blocked because the angle of the eye is too small. This means there is a much smaller anterior chamber of the eye with little space between the iris and Schlemm's Canal, the actual drain of the eye. As the angle becomes blocked, fluid will continue to be made at a normal rate but will be unable to exit the eye, allowing the pressure in the eye to quickly build up to harmful levels. The normal treatment protocol is usually surgery where a small amount of Iris is removed allowing for better movement. This better movement helps prevent or reduce the increase of pressure within the eye. Typical symptoms may include eye pain, halos, distorted vision, nausea or headaches. You may also experience a combination of symptoms.

Secondary Glaucoma

This form of glaucoma may result from some type of trauma to the eye, a disease of the eye that results in inflammation, tumor or individuals with cataracts or diabetes. This type of glaucoma can also be a result of certain medications or medications containing steroids. Treatment of secondary glaucoma will be dependent upon the angle of eye.

Normal Tension Glaucoma (NTG)

This form of glaucoma results in damage to the optic nerve without an increase in the pressure of the eye. At present there is no clear understanding why this occurs even though there is normal intraocular pressure. A family history of normal tension glaucoma, systemic heart disease are possible risk factors of this disease. Early detection and diagnosis is the best course of action to reducing the harmfulness of this disease. A combination of laser therapy, medications and surgery may be used to deter the progression of this disease.

Pigmentary Glaucoma

This is similar to secondary glaucoma. Some of the pigmentary granules in the back of the Iris separate from the Iris and move into the drainage area of the eye. These tiny granules eventually clog the drainage pipes of the eye. This eventually leads to an increase in intraocular pressure. Treatment options may include laser surgery, medications or surgery.

Cataracts and Glaucoma

Over time, many individuals, typically over the age of 60 are diagnosed with cataracts. Having glaucoma does not necessarily mean you will get cataracts and getting cataracts does not mean you will get Glaucoma. Glaucoma and cataracts are more prevalent as we get older. Although cataracts do not cause glaucoma, trauma to the eye or certain medications may lead to glaucoma and cataracts. Be well informed of the possible side-effects of medications. As discussed, cataracts and glaucoma may lead to blindness but modern surgical techniques can reverse the effects of cataracts yet glaucoma is permanent, therefore routine eye exams and proper medical treatment may reduce possible vision loss.

Signs & Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms

Glaucoma is unfortunately a non-symptomatic disease. Your vision may appear to be fine until one day your eye care professional determines that you have Advanced Glaucoma or you notice yourself because it feels that your vision in the periphery is not a good as it once was. It is important to recognize the signs. Below are examples of what normal vision looks like compared to moderate to severe glaucoma.

Vision loss

Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma: Unlike with other types of glaucoma, those with angle-closure glaucoma will show symptoms. These symptoms may include eye pain, halos around lights, distorted vision, nausea or headaches. Patients may
experience a combination of these glaucoma symptoms.

Effects on Vision

Effects on Vision

Glaucoma is unfortunately a non-symptomatic disease. Your vision may appear to be fine until one day your eye care professional determines that you have Advanced Glaucoma or you notice yourself because it feels that your vision in the periphery is not a good as it once was. It is important to recognize the signs. Below are examples of what normal vision looks like compared to serious to severe glaucoma. 



It is estimated that half of the population with glaucoma does not realize they have the disease. Glaucoma develops gradually over numerous years and presents different warning signs as the disease progresses. If glaucoma is not detected and treated early, it can lead to blindness. This is why it is known as the "sneak thief of sight".

There are numerous tools available to the eye care professional to detect glaucoma. Glaucoma management is usually a lifelong process that requires frequent monitoring and constant treatment. Since there is no way to determine if glaucoma is under control based on how a person feels, doctor visits should be on a regular basis.

See Your Eye Care Professional On A Regular Basis To Ensure Proper Eye Healthcare. Early Detection Is The Best Method To Ensure Healthy Vision. 

Treatment Options

Treatment Options

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

Explore Glaucoma Treatment Options

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

Laser Therapy 
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.

Glaucoma Patient Resources

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