Glaucoma and cataracts are common eye conditions in older adults, though they can technically occur at any age. If you’re living with vision complications from having both glaucoma and cataracts, Dr. Mayo and the Eye Center of Texas provide an effective, FDA-approved treatment option that can protect against vision loss. The device, called i-Stent, can be inserted during cataract surgery to lower and control pressure in the eye caused by glaucoma.
Learn more about the i-Stent procedure for providing relief from both glaucoma and cataracts.
Can you have glaucoma and cataracts?
It is possible to have both glaucoma and cataracts. The conditions are not related, but they tend to occur in people over the age of 60. Let’s review the basics of glaucoma and cataracts
Cataracts occur as the eye’s lens grows cloudy and inflexible, dulling or blurring vision over time in most cases. Common cataract symptoms typically include:
- Cloudy, blurred, or dim vision
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Poor night vision or trouble driving at night
- Dull or less vibrant colors
- Double vision in one eye
- Glasses or contacts are no longer helping
If you’re curious about what causes cataracts, the cost of cataract surgery, or whether you can have cataract surgery in both eyes at once, Eye Center of Texas offers a series of helpful guides:
Glaucoma refers to a group of conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve, often with abnormally high pressure in the eye. The most common type of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, may result in tunnel vision or blind spots.
Glaucoma can affect anyone, but some of the most prevalent risk factors include:
- Being age 60 or older
- African American heritage
- Extreme nearsightedness
- Eye trauma
- Long-term steroid treatment
- Family history of glaucoma
Your eye doctor should check for cataracts and glaucoma when you have your annual eye exam, so you can treat them effectively before they advance and prevent damage to the optic nerve.
Can cataracts cause increased eye pressure?
Cataracts do not cause increased eye pressure. They blur vision by clouding the eye’s lens. Glaucoma, however, occurs when the drainage passage in the eye is blocked or not functioning well, causing a buildup of fluid that raises intraocular pressure. Without treatment, glaucoma can cause damage to the optic nerve over time and cause vision loss both peripherally and centrally — that’s why early diagnosis is key.
Is it safe to have cataract surgery with glaucoma?
While every person’s condition is different, it is generally considered safe to have cataract surgery with glaucoma. However, cataract surgery has been shown to increase eye pressure, so those with glaucoma may wish to have both procedures done at the same time. Fortunately, having glaucoma and cataract surgery at the same time can actually be of great benefit to those who have both conditions—and the i-Stent makes that possible.
Of the i-Stent procedure, Dr. May of Eye Center of Texas has said, “The FDA-approved i-Stent is great news for people who have both a cataract and glaucoma. When pressure in the eye is out of control, it can increase the risk for permanent vision loss. I consider i-Stent an important advancement in protecting against vision loss for my glaucoma patients.”
The i-Stent procedure for glaucoma and cataracts
The i-Stent procedure combines cataract and glaucoma surgery into a single treatment. The i-Stent itself operates just like a stent that works to prevent a heart attack or stroke, but on a smaller scale. By creating a permanent opening in the blocked trabecular meshwork, it allows the backed-up fluid to drain, diminishing pressure and preventing damage to the optic nerve.
The process is simple: after your cataracts are removed, your eye surgeon will implant the i-Stent—a device that’s 20,000 times smaller than your new cataract lens. You won’t see or feel it afterward. By having cataract and glaucoma surgery at the same time, you’re treating both conditions with less stress to your system and a combined cataract and glaucoma treatment recovery.
Contact Eye Center of Texas to discuss the i-Stent treatment for glaucoma and cataracts today
If you’re suffering from both glaucoma and cataracts, the i-Sent surgery may be able to help. i-Stent surgery recovery is quick, and in most cases requires only anti-inflammatory drops and avoiding strenuous activity for a few days. Many individuals no longer need eye drops to treat their glaucoma once they’ve recovered because the i-Stent is maintaining healthy eye pressure.
If you’d like to learn more about cataract or glaucoma treatment, schedule an appointment today or call the Eye Center of Texas at 713-797-1010.
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