Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a laser treatment for elevated eye pressure and glaucoma.
The interaction between the laser light energy and the meshwork tissue at the periphery of the cornea where fluid leaves the eye, appears to rejuvenate and improve the function of the cells, so that fluid drains away more easily, thereby lowering the eye pressure.
SLT may allow many patients with moderately elevated eye pressure or glaucoma to avoid or delay the need for daily eye drop treatment. A recent, landmark study recommended SLT as initial treatment. For patients taking multiple eye drops, it may allow withdrawal of one or more types and so, it can be helpful when eye drops are difficult to instill or poorly tolerated. SLT may add to the pressure lowering effect of eye drops already being taken and it can sometimes allow surgery to be avoided.
Most patients are suitable. Treatment is carried out whilst sitting with just eye drop anaesthetic. It is painless and takes about 7 minutes for each eye. It is effective in lowering eye pressure for about 65% of patients. The average duration of effect is 1-3 years and the procedure can be repeated.