Throughout the ages, glaucoma has become known as the “silent thief of sight.” Indeed, when not managed properly, glaucoma can rob a person of his or her precious vision, a fate that no one should ever have to endure. Fortunately, while there is still no cure for glaucoma, technology has evolved to the point that the degenerative eye disease can be managed and vision can be preserved. Among the most promising breakthroughs in glaucoma management is Lumenis Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, or SLT, which we proudly offer at our Rapid City laser eye surgery center. Serving Williston, ND and communities throughout the region, Black Hills Regional Eye Institute is dedicated to helping glaucoma sufferers maintain their vision and combat the effects of this insidious disease.
What Is SLT?
At our laser eye surgery center in Rapid City, SLT laser trabeculoplasty is performed as an in-office outpatient procedure. The laser procedure uses a special wavelength and energy to target only those cells of the eye that contain melanin, leaving other cells undisturbed and unscathed. This triggers the body’s natural healing response, which improves the flow of fluid within the eye, thereby reducing eye pressure. The procedure requires mere minutes and does not interfere with the patient’s normal routine. Indeed, patients are even able to drive themselves home after undergoing SLT.
Candidates for SLT
At our practice in Rapid City, glaucoma patients are thoroughly evaluated before a course of treatment is recommended; however, most patients with glaucoma are suitable candidates for SLT. The SLT procedure is highly effective as a means of managing primary open angle glaucoma, ocular hypertension, normal tension glaucoma, juvenile glaucoma, aphakic glaucoma, and pigmentary glaucoma.
When glaucoma is identified in its earliest stages, it becomes far easier to manage, and the patient stands a far better chance of preserving his or her vision. SLT is, in many cases, an ideal first line of treatment for those who are diagnosed with glaucoma in the early stages of its progression. In some cases, SLT treatment may even prevent the need for glaucoma medications and other treatments.
For many patients of our laser vision center serving Williston, ND and surrounding areas, SLT is covered by Medicare and other insurance plans.
Benefits of SLT
SLT offers many benefits that other forms of glaucoma therapy cannot. Unlike medical therapy, there is virtually no risk of side effects from SLT treatment. Unlike other laser glaucoma therapies, SLT targets only selected cells, leaving other tissues unaltered. SLT also works with the body’s natural ability to heal itself to promote the improved flow of fluid within your eye, making it one of the safest and most effective forms of glaucoma therapy available.