Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve, the part of the eye which receives images collected by the retina and sends them to the brain. Every eye maintains a certain amount of internal pressure, called intraocular pressure. When this pressure rises to abnormal levels however, it can put extra stress on the optic nerve, causing significant damage. Optic nerve damage results in loss of vision, and ultimately blindness.
The front of the eye is constantly producing a fluid called aqueous humor. A healthy eye will continually produce small amounts of aqueous humor to ensure consistent pressure within the eye. When normal drainage becomes slowed or blocked, pressure increases, and may lead to glaucoma. There are several different types of glaucoma.
Chronic open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease and usually develops with age. With this type of glaucoma, pressure gradually increases around the eye causing it to work less effectively over a period of time. There are no symptoms in the early stages of open-angle glaucoma. Peripheral vision is usually the first to deteriorate. As the disease becomes more advanced, blind spots begin to appear in one’s visual field. If left untreated, it eventually develops into blindness. The best way to avoid serious vision loss is early diagnosis and treatment. To make an appointment with any of our physicians, please call any Krates Eye Center location.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a form of laser surgery that is used to lower intraocular pressure in glaucoma. It can be used as an initial treatment for glaucoma or when eye drop medications are not lowering the eye pressure enough. It works by applying laser energy to the drainage tissue in the eye. This starts a biological change in the tissue that results in better drainage of fluid out of the eye which in turn lowers the intraocular pressure. It may take 1-3 months for the results to appear. The effect of the laser usually lasts 1-5 years. The laser may be repeated when the effect has worn off.
iStent® is indicated for use in conjunction with cataract surgery for the reduction of eye pressure in adult patients with mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma currently treated with ocular hypotensive medication. Key advantages to using the device during cataract surgery include:
- MINIMAL INVASIVENESS: Performed at the time of cataract surgery, requiring no additional incisions other than those needed for cataract surgery itself.
- DIRECTLY IMPROVES THE PHYSIOLOGICAL OUTFLOW: Creates a bypass through the primary blockage site (trabecular meshwork).
- EXCELLENT SAFETY PROFILE: The overall incidence of adverse events of performing cataract surgery with iStent® are comparable to performing cataract surgery alone.
- RAPID RECOVERY TIME: Patient recovery time is usually rapid, which allows a return to normal activities.
- POSITIVE PATIENT OUTCOMES: Clinical studies show that most patients experience a reduction in IOP and a reduction in reliance on glaucoma medication.