Laser Treatments for Glaucoma

Laser treatments are a leading-edge option for managing glaucoma.


Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a type of laser treatment designed to lower intraocular pressure in open-angle glaucoma. We use it when eye drop medications are not reducing the eye pressure enough or are causing unwanted side effects. In addition, it may sometimes be used as an initial treatment in glaucoma for patients who are good candidates and do not want to take eye drops.

SLT works by applying laser energy to the drainage tissue in the eye. This starts a chemical and biological change in the tissue that results in better drainage of fluid through the drain and out of the eye. This results in lowering intraocular pressure. SLT is not a cure for glaucoma but one of many tools to keep it under control.

SLT can be performed as an outpatient procedure at Mann Eye Institute. It has very little downtime, and most patients report little to no discomfort. Laser trabeculoplasty has been in use for more than 25 years in the United States and around the world.


Laser peripheral iridotomy is a first-line treatment in closed-angle glaucoma and eyes at risk for this condition. It has been used since 1984 both as treatment and for prevention of the disease.

The procedure creates a tiny hole in the outer edge of the iris, leading to an opening of the angle in the majority of cases. After the angle is widened from the procedure, the trabecular meshwork (which directs fluid out of the eye) is exposed, and fluid outflow is enhanced.

Laser iridotomy is not a substitute for glaucoma eye drops, and in most cases, is used in conjunction with glaucoma medications.

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