Glaucoma is a condition of optic nerve damage generally associated with elevated pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma is very treatable; it does best to treat it early, before extensive damage is done.
There are four broad categories of treatment for glaucoma. Many patients use eye drop medication to manage and treat their glaucoma. Surgery and pills are two other options, but those are usually used when all else fails. The fourth option is a laser treatment called SLT, Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty.
An SLT works in this way: there is a regular circulation of fluid inside the eye. This fluid is produced in the ciliary body, and it percolates out through a microscopic drain. The most common form of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, occurs because the body deposits material which partially blocks the drain. The most natural and safest treatment is a very low energy laser treatment which stimulates the body’s immune system to clean up the drain. This is a common first-choice treatment for most patients.
Although used earlier elsewhere in the world, this laser (SLT) was not approved for use in the United States until November 2001. Levin Luminais Chronister Eye Associates purchased the laser that same month. Our laser was the only one of its kind in Chester County; in fact, it was the only SLT between Philadelphia and Harrisburg for two full years! Today it is commonly used by many ophthalmologists across the country.
Until recently, SLT sales in the USA were limited to one company. In July, the patent protection which set this limitation expired, and the newest and most advanced SLT is now available in the USA. The manufacturer, Ellex, has made this SLT for many years, and in fact Ellex has manufactured many of the SLTs sold by the long-time patent holder.
In May 2013, Levin Luminais Chronister Eye Associates became the first in Chester County to use this fabulous new instrument. It is a premier tool, and we are pleased to be the first in the area to own it. It is a wonderful addition to the services and treatment options we can offer our patients. If you are interested in learning more about this treatment option, please schedule an appointment with one of our doctors today.