Glaucoma? Finally free from eye drops with the SLT laser


The prestigious journal The Lancet has published a three-year study on 718 patients by Prof. Gus Gazzard of Moorfields Eye Hospital which demonstrates how the SLT laser is more effective in treating glaucoma than eye drops, with possible enormous savings for healthcare public and a concrete improvement in the quality of life of patients.
Laser could soon replace eye drops in Britain to treat glaucoma patients, this is the surprising conclusion of a three-year study.

The results, published in the prestigious scientific journal The Lancet, show that Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) laser technique should replace the use of eye drops as the main glaucoma therapy.

The study revealed that SLT is not only more effective and safer but could save the state coffers £1.5 million a year.

"A simple, safe, painless laser treatment that is not only more effective but also cheaper" says one of the authors, Prof. Gus Gazzard of Moorfields Eye Hospital from London.

"A single laser treatment relieves patients of the need to use eye drops every day for the rest of their lives, while also avoiding side effects."

Side effects associated with glaucoma drug therapies include cataracts, decreased heart rate, and fatigue.

Glaucoma is one of the main causes of blindness in the world, in Italy it affects a million people but half of them still don't know it and a late diagnosis seriously puts their sight at risk.

Most of these patients are prescribed eye drops to lower eye pressure that must be instilled every day for the rest of their lives, whereas SLT can be performed in 15 minutes and only once.

The patient sits in front of a microscope-like instrument and looks into it as 100 tiny pulses of light hit the eye, restoring the outflow of aqueous humor and lowering eye pressure.

The researchers organized a 3-year study of 718 patients and compared the effectiveness of the two treatments.

The results, published on the occasion of the World Glaucoma Week, clearly demonstrate that patients treated with SLT had lower and more stable eye pressure and fewer complications.

The use of SLT treatment could be decisive in countries without a developed healthcare system since it does not require the continuous use of drugs.

"This study represents a milestone," says Thomas Brunner, president of the Glaucoma Research Foundation.
“In developing countries, SLT could be a key tool for preventing blindness.”

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