At Primary Eye Care Associates, we offer a number of services to monitor and preserve the health and function of the eyes. One of our foremost goals is allowing patients to maintain clear vision throughout their lifetime. As a patient ages, the risk of several eye diseases increases, as does the risk of vision loss. Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of vision loss and blindness in patients that are 60 and over.
Glaucoma develops when fluid gets trapped between the lens and the cornea, causing ocular pressure to increase. Gradually, the optic nerves will be damaged and a patient’s vision will begin to suffer. Vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible. However, with early intervention, our eye doctors can treat glaucoma and prevent vision loss. Trabeculoplasty glaucoma treatment is one option available at our Chicago, IL practice. This procedure lowers ocular pressure and allows patients to preserve clear vision.
What Is Trabeculoplasty?
Trabeculoplasty is a laser surgery procedure that improves the drainage function of the eyes. More commonly known as Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, or SLT, this is one of the most effective treatments for open-angle glaucoma.
During the SLT procedure, laser energy is applied to the drainage tissues of the eye. This laser energy is referred to as “selective” because it is only absorbed by selected pigmented tissue. As a result, SLT results in minimal scarring and pain. When the laser energy is absorbed by the drainage tissues, it starts a chemical reaction and biological change. Within the next several months, the drainage function of the eyes will increase and ocular pressure will decrease. This procedure prevents damage to the optic nerves and minimizes the risk of vision loss.
How Effective Is Trabeculoplasty?
The results of trabeculoplasty will vary by each patient. However, on average, trabeculoplasty has been shown to lower ocular pressure by about 30 percent. This is a significant improvement that greatly reduces the risk of permanent vision loss. Trabeculoplasty is not a permanent treatment, but the results of surgery should last between one and five years. When ocular pressure does begin to rise again, the trabeculoplasty procedure can be repeated. Unfortunately, the results of a secondary procedure are not usually as effective as the first time around. Still, this laser treatment is an excellent option for patients looking to preserve clear vision.
The two most common forms of glaucoma are open-angle and angle-closure. Trabeculoplasty is a treatment option for patients suffering from open-angle glaucoma. Generally, patients with glaucoma will first be treated with medicinal eye drops. If those eye drops stop being effective, trabeculoplasty is a great alternative treatment.
In some cases, trabeculoplasty will be offered as an initial method of treatment. The exact treatment plan for each patient will vary and will be determined by our eye doctors after carefully considering the unique needs of each patient.
The best way to manage glaucoma and prevent vision loss is through early treatment. If you are concerned about the health of your eyes and have questions about trabeculoplasty or other forms of glaucoma treatment, contact us at your earliest convenience.