Effectiveness of laser treatment

Glaucoma laser treatment effectiveness can be dependent on the severity of the eye condition and other circumstances. Laser treatment is aimed at controlling the pressure and reducing the chances of you losing vision due to glaucoma. It is often highly effective. 

Selective laser trabeculoplasty

Selective laser trabeculoplasty, a treatment that encourages the eye’s own drainage system to process the internal fluid more efficiently is highly effective and is often offered as an alternative to drops when the decision to treat high eye pressure is made. It can reduce the pressure by 20% or more and is effective in 80% of patients. This can mean that you are off drops for 2-5 years as the laser alone controls the pressure. 20% of people do not respond well to SLT and it is not always to possible to predict in advance who will or will not respond. However, the treatment is low risk and does not damage the eye significantly, meaning that if you are a non-responder you haven’t lost anything.

The laser treatment

SLT is carried out as an outpatient procedure in the laser suite. You do not have to go to a theatre. It is usual to treat one eye at a time. The treatment takes 12-15 minutes. It is usual to check the eye pressure 30-60 minutes after the procedure before letting you go home. The other eye can be treated 1-2 weeks later.

Problems with drops

SLT is popular with patients and glaucoma specialists alike. If you find putting drops in difficult, forget to use them, or the drops cause you excessive irritation and sensitivity then SLT can be a good treatment option for you. A good glaucoma treatment plan will take all of these issues into account. Make sure you have the best information available to make the right choice for you.