SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 19 -- Coherent Inc. said that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared its application to market the Selecta 7000 Glaucoma Laser System. The Selecta 7000 is designed to perform Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT), which incorporates a new patent protected technique for the treatment of open angle glaucoma, the leading cause of preventable blindness in Americans over the age of 40. Open angle glaucoma is a progressive degenerative disease in which the optic nerve is slowly destroyed. It affects more than 50 million people worldwide. If left unchecked open angle glaucoma cases can result in total blindness. The only accepted treatment for open angle glaucoma is to lower intraocular pressure. SLT lowers intraocular pressure by using short pulses of low energy laser light to target melanin containing cells in the trabecular meshwork, which drains fluid from the eye, resulting in increased fluid outflow. The selective technique is much less traumatic to the eye than argon laser trabeculoplasty, the current laser procedure.