Laser is commonly used to treat both open- and closed-angle glaucoma.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT):
This procedure is used to treat open-angle glaucoma. It consists of using laser to stimulate the trabecular meshwork area of the eye, which is responsible in part for controlling intraocular pressure (IOP). This causes the structure to increase its filtration rate, thus lowering the pressure. SLT can be used as an initial treatment (instead of drops) or as an adjunctive therapy (in addition to drops). The equipment used is a new generation of low-energy laser that has demonstrated a high level of success. The treatment leaves no scars and can be repeated.
Nd-YAG Laser (Neodymium-Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Laser):
This type of laser is used mainly to treat closed-angle or angle-closure glaucoma (with pupillary block mechanism). This condition entails the progressive narrowing of the irido-corneal angle toward complete and permanent closure. If closure occurs rapidly (over several hours or days), it is referred to as acute angle-closure glaucoma; if closure occurs over the course of several months or years, it is then referred to as chronic angle-closure glaucoma. In both cases, laser treatment can remove the pupillary block.
For more information, visit The Quebec Glaucoma Foundation website.
Click here to open an informative pamphlet on the laser iridotomy.