Common Questions Asked About SLT Laser Treatment for Glaucoma

As is true with most medical treatments, the Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) laser treatment for glaucoma is not without its enquiries and doubts. There are questions and confusions about this treatment that need to be answered before you opt for a treatment option for your glaucoma.

Some of the common questions asked regarding this laser treatment for glaucoma are.

  1. Does SLT need to be repeated every few years?

Slt laser treatment has proved to reduce the intraocular pressure by 25% to 40%. When used on initial to moderate stage glaucoma, it is very effective. If a patient is already on medication for glaucoma, slt may not be that effective and hence wear off. But, the successful effect of slt lasts from 1 to 5 years. However, if the slt treatment does not stay effective for at least 6 to 12 months, then it is usually considered unsuccessful. If successful, slt effect remains for years, without need for repetition.

2.Do insurance companies cover SLT?

The SLT laser is a recognised and accepted form of treatment for glaucoma and so it is usually covered by medicare and medical insurance. Cost for individual without insurance will differ.

  1. What are some of the risks that can be expected from SLT?

There is a possibility of some inflammation after the laser which can be treated with eye drops or oral non- steroidal and anti- inflammatory medication. There are also some chances of elevation of IOP which can also be managed by medications and treated within a day.

  1. Will my glaucoma medication continue after SLT?

Glaucoma cases differ from patient to patient. There are some glaucoma cases which can be managed just by the slt, while some may require further medication. Some patients might not require further lowering of IOP after the slt and so they will not require glaucoma medication. No matter the course of treatment, regular follow ups, tests and eye check ups will still be required in all cases.

  1. What does SLT do?

SLT basically starts a chemical and biological change which results in better drainage of the fluid out of the eye. This drainage causes lowering of the IOP. However, the effect and results of the IOP take around 1-3 months to show.

  1. Will SLT be effective if a patient is already on other medication for glaucoma?

Laser SLT for glaucoma is best effective when it is used as the first treatment option. It can also be used after the medications have failed to lower the IOP.

  1. What are some of the other laser treatments that i can opt for?

Some of the other glaucoma laser treatment options that you can opt for are argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT), micropulse laser trabeculoplasty (MLT).

  1. Who is eligible for SLT treatment?

SLT is suitable for those patients who have primary or secondary open-angle glaucoma, where the drainage system of the front part of the eye is open and requires the lowering of IOP. Your opthamologist will do a complete examination and declare you fit or unfit for the slt treatment option.


There are plenty of questions that patients of glaucoma will have about their course of treatment because there are number of treatment options available. There are many myths and misconceptions regarding glaucoma treatments as well. However, there is plenty of research and health care experts who have the case studies and results to prove the safety of these treatments. You should always do your research and also ask your doctor all questions regarding your course of treatment.


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