We have compiled a list of Frequently
Asked Questions about Glaucoma Symptoms,
Signs and Treatments to assist in
educating our patients.
How serious is glaucoma?
very serious. It blinds almost 1 million
people a year. Projected figures say there
are probably 6 million people with
glaucoma, and many of them do not know it.
What is glaucoma? How does it
occurs when there is too much pressure in
the eye. The pressure builds up, the
pressure becomes fatal to the eye, and the
damage is permanent, meaning it is not
reversible. Permanent damage is happening,
but there is no pain and no pus. Patients
are going blind and do not even know.
If you have glaucoma, do you just
wake up one day and all of a sudden cannot
That would be
pretty extreme. It is usually finally
discovered when a significant amount of
vision is lost. The only way to treat
glaucoma is with an early diagnosis, and
the only treatment is to lower the
pressure in the eye before the damage
The most common treatment in the
past has been the use of glaucoma drops.
Are they effective?
to be controlled by lowering the pressure.
For decades, there have been drops, but
all drops are drugs, and all drugs have
side effects. Laser came to the market in
the 1980s, which worked, but if glaucoma
was not controlled, then hospital surgery
was the next step. Our goal now is to
bring something to the patients that is
simpler, safer and more successful than
Is there any way to prevent Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes
loss of vision when the eye's internal
pressure builds up to an unsafe level.
Glaucoma usually has no symptoms--no pain,
no pus, no redness, etc. It must be
diagnosed by an eye exam and treated to
prevent loss of vision and even blindness.
Glaucoma is more common in everyone over
40, Hispanics, and African -Americans ,
and those with brown colored eyes.
Glaucoma damage can be prevented by proper
control of the pressure. This control
takes either treatment with
medicines/drugs or laser (SLT) or surgery.
The SLT glaucoma laser may be the safest
and most successful treatment to control
glaucoma and prevent blindness that has
ever been invented !!
Frequently Asked Questions on SLT Laser
What is the selective laser
trabeculoplasty, or SLT?
It is a fancy
word that means advanced laser treatment,
which has just come to America. It has
been approved by the Food and Drug
Administration after 10 years of research
and success in Europe. It could be called
"superior laser treatment" or "smart laser
treatment" because that is exactly what it
How does SLT work?
SLT glaucoma laser is a revolutionary
treatment. It is a wavelength aimed at the
blocked drains in the glaucoma eye. The
SLT glaucoma laser unblocks them. It is
selective and so precise that it only
lasers the drains and spares all the
delicate tissue. The body’s own healing
mechanism unblocks the drains, and it is
the safest treatment we have ever had in
the history of glaucoma.
Considering it is FDA approved,
why is SLT not more popular among these
treatment has been done the old way for
the past 20 years. Glaucoma drops and
glaucoma pills were all that was available
until the 1980s. So, this is new
technology, and maybe it is the best kept
secret in America. That's why we want to
get the word out. It is simpler, safer and
more successful than the drops. All drops
have side effects. With this laser, there
is no bleeding, infection, cataract
formation or restrictions. It really is a
What percentage of patients'
glaucoma can the new laser help?
patients we have treated with the laser at
the Florida Eye Center in St. Petersburg,
almost 100 percent have responded. A
single laser dose has helped the patients
reduce their drops by 60 percent. We just
researched the last 1,000 cases, and
almost 900 of them have thrown away all or
part of their drops. It is going to
revolutionize treatment for glaucoma. It
is ideal for anybody who has glaucoma,
wants to get rid of their drops, or cannot
tolerate their drops because of the side
effects. It is ideal for anybody over age
40 with glaucoma, diabetes, high blood
pressure, and who is African-American or
Hispanic-American -- they go blind more
then anybody else.
What is it about the SLT that
makes it safer and better than what has
been used in the past?
The laser in
the past was actually a hot laser. It
could only be used once. This is a cold
laser, so it can be repeated. It does not
damage any of the adjacent delicate
tissue, whereas the old lasers did. The
old lasers were also a one-shot deal. If
they did not work, patients had to go back
on the drops or pills. This laser can be
repeated. It is actually very smart by
stimulating your own body to unblock the
What is the patient's reaction to
this simple treatment that can solve his
or her problem?
In the 1980s
when I put in lens implants and nobody had
to wear cataract glasses, I was hugged and
kissed. This is happening again. Everybody
is throwing away their drops, and I am
getting hugged and kissed again. It is
Why would you consider the SLT a
physicians, we try to bring the patients
and the communities medicine or treatment
that is simpler, safer and more
successful. This fits all of those
categories. In medical school, they do not
issue a magic wand, but this is the
closest thing to getting a magic wand.
Since this condition sneaks up on
its patients, what advice do you have for
people to prevent glaucoma?
The damage is
permanent, and without symptoms people are
going blind. The only way to find out you
have glaucoma is to get an eye exam. If I
have any advice, it is to get an eye exam
and then ask about SLT. SLT beats drops,
drugs and hospital surgeries.
Why do you think people are
hesitant when they hear about a laser for
fear pain, but SLT has no pain. There is
no bleeding and no infection. You walk
into the eye center, you sit in the chair,
the laser specialist aims the red light,
and you are finished. It is that simple.
People may be afraid of the unknown. Maybe
they think of Buck Rogers or Star Wars,
but this is just a light, almost like
having your picture taken.
From a patient's point of view,
are there any major side effects or
reasons to be hesitant of the SLT?
No. There is
no pain, and there are absolutely no
systemic side effects. There is no chance
of bleeding or infection. All of the drops
that are out there are drugs with the
opposite problems. They have effects on
your heart, asthma and libido.
Is the SLT covered by insurance
Insurance covers it, also Medicare and
Medicaid cover it. That is in
contradiction to the co-payments and the
out-of-pocket expenses. So, it is very
sensible. Not only does it work, but you
throw away a lifetime of drops, a lifetime
of co-payments, and bad taste from the
drops. SLT has been shown to last for up
to four years.