SLT is effective even when already using drops

SLT is effective

The American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting often showcases exciting new research that is of relevance to patients. In this year’s meeting, Professor Khawaja was particularly interested in a study presented on Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT), a common initial treatment for glaucoma and ocular hypertension, which has been shown to be almost as effective when introduced as a second-line of treatment after three years of eye drop therapy.

The research, conducted by Gus Gazzard, a fellow ophthalmologist at Moorfields, aligns with the results of a study Professor Khawaja published in 2019, entitled ‘Real-World Outcomes of Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty in the United Kingdom’. In this study, Professor Khawaja examined the outcomes of SLT for glaucoma patients across multiple eye units in the UK with the aim of identifying which factors can predict a good outcome. He found that SLT can be equally effective in patients already using eye drops, all other factors being equal.

Factors that make SLT an effective glaucoma treatment

A key consideration before SLT is the starting pressure. Professor Khawaja’s previous research highlighted the need for a high starting intraocular pressure for SLT treatment to work most effectively. The results showed that SLT was not as effective for those needing to lower pressure from an already low starting point. It is believed that this is because the laser only targets one part of the drainage system; there is a pressure level that the laser cannot get below due to resistance remaining in other parts of the drainage system.