Glaucoma is an eye disease causing damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the part of the eye that carries visual signals from the retina to the brain. The brain then interprets these signals into images that you see. In the healthy eye, a clear fluid called aqueous humor circulates inside the front portion of your eye. To maintain a constant healthy eye pressure, your eye continually produces a small amount of aqueous humor while an equal amount of this fluid flows out of your eye. If you have glaucoma, the aqueous humor does not flow out of the eye properly. Fluid pressure in the eye builds up and, over time, causes damage to the optic nerve fibers.
Glaucoma can lead to blindness if left untreated. Only about half of all people that have glaucoma are even aware that they have the disease. Patients with glaucoma do not have any symptoms until late in the disease, causing slow silent visual loss without any knowledge. Once vision loss occurs, it cannot be reversed. Fortunately, early detection and treatment can help preserve your vision.
TYPES OF GLAUCOMA:
- Open-angle glaucoma
- Normal-Tension Glaucoma
- Closed-angle Glaucoma
- Secondary Glaucoma
- Ocular Hypertension
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR GLAUCOMA
Glaucoma treatment at the time of cataract surgery
Technology has always played an important role in eye care. Today, almost every aspect of vision is connected to a product or procedure that wasn’t available even ten short years ago. The cataract surgery you are scheduled for is a good example of how innovations can make a difference. Every aspect of it utilizes recently developed technology that will help us improve your vision. Today, this includes managing your mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma: because now we are able to add another step to your cataract surgery that allows you to treat your open-angle glaucoma in a completely new way. This is important because once diagnosed, you and most patients like you will spend the rest of your lives putting one, two or even three different kinds of drops in every day. Unfortunately, all of these drops will not only be inconvenient, but potentially very expensive. The iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent is designed to reduce your eye pressure and you can have it done at the same time you have cataract surgery.
The world’s smallest medical implant delivers big results in mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma. While mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma is very common, many people are unaware of their condition, especially in the early stages, when their vision may be unaffected. In many people, open-angle glaucoma is characterized by an increase in the intraocular pressure (IOP) of your eye. This pressure is caused by the buildup of fluid within the eye. Too much fluid raises pressure, which can cause the gradual loss of vision. And while glaucoma moves slowly, its damage is irreparable.
The world’s tiniest medical device—iStent—is 20,000 times smaller than the intraocular lenses (IOL) used in your cataract surgery. But the size of iStent is only part of its story. By increasing the eye’s ability to drain fluid, this technology is designed to reduce the pressure in your eye.
In a U.S. clinical study, 68% of glaucoma patients who received iStent remained medication free at 12 months while sustaining a target IOP of ≤ 21 mm Hg vs. only 50% of patients who underwent cataract surgery alone.
iStent works like the stents used to prevent heart attacks and strokes. When blood vessels are clogged, a stent creates access for improved flow through the blood vessel. With the iStent, a permanent opening through the trabecular meshwork is created, improving the eye’s natural outflow resulting in a reduction of the eye pressure.
Managing glaucoma while treating your cataracts
iStent is implanted during your cataract surgery procedure. Once implanted, iStent will begin working to safely and effectively manage pressure. What’s more, patients who receive iStent may experience a reduction in glaucoma medications; but this will be at the discretion of your physician.