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How can laser trabeculoplasty help treat open-angle glaucoma?

There are two types of laser trabeculoplasty: argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT) and selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). These procedures both use very focused light energy to treat the drainage channel. The laser does not create holes in the eye but instead causes the drain to work more effectively. Both types are effective in lowering eye pressure and do so more than 75 percent of the time. Lowering eye pressure is the only proven way to treat glaucoma.
Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) uses a neodymium:YAG laser to focus light energy on the internal drainage channel of the eye. SLT targets the pigmented (melanin-containing) cells in the trabecular meshwork using a very short application of light. Because SLT uses a low amount of energy, the surrounding tissue is not damaged. The treatment allows the drain to work more efficiently, successfully lowering eye pressure more than 80 percent of the time.
The pressure-lowering effect of laser trabeculoplasty can lessen over time. Up to half of the people who have had laser trabeculoplasty will experience a rise in eye pressure. SLT uses lower energy levels than ALT; however, both allow for the option of having retreatment in the future.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.