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Treatment options have come a long way, not only to improve the lives of people suffering from glaucoma, but to help arrest the disease before vision loss occurs if diagnosed early. Treatment modalities for glaucoma include eye drops, laser, or incisional surgery. One of the latest alternatives in glaucoma management is Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty. It has been clinically proven to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP). SLT has virtually no side effects thereby eliminating or reducing the quantity of prescription medications, eye drops, surgery and other invasive treatments required to control the disease. This therapy can be administered in the ophthalmologist’s office. Relatively painless, the SLT does not cause scarring or damage to the eye like other laser treatments and has been shown to effectively keep pressure lower for several years. SLT may also be an alternative for patients who have been treated unsuccessfully with laser surgery in the past or with pressure lowering eye drops.
"I have been seeing Dr. Wagle, glaucoma specialist, for glaucoma treatment for 2-3 years now. I came in for a regular eye exam and was surprised to find out that I had glaucoma. I had no symptoms. I’ve been using drops for the last 2-3 years to control it. My left eye has grown worse than my right eye. Dr. Wagle suggested I try the SLT laser. I was hesitant about this new laser treatment, but Dr. Wagle explained how it worked and that there would be no pain. He was right. There was no pain and my pressure went down a lot in my left eye. I’ve seen improvement with both treatments, but nothing as significant as with the laser. With these treatments, I know that I can continue to enjoy my reading and get to my fitness center 3 days a week," said Mrs. Segura, long-time patient of Dr. Wagle.
New once-daily prescription eye drops, new combination medications, refinements to conventional surgical procedures, and iStent surgery performed with cataract surgery (see iStent page for more information) have also been added to the arsenal of treatment options for the disease. Current research topics in the field of glaucoma include looking at the genetics of glaucoma as well as examining certain neurotransmitters as playing a role in the cause of glaucoma. Hopefully, these research areas may help to identify the cause of glaucoma and improve methods of detection and treatment of this insidious and devastating disease.