What Are The Early Symptoms of Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that can lead to vision loss and blindness. Because early detection and treatment can be the difference between preserving and losing your vision, it is essential to know the early symptoms of glaucoma.
The first signs of glaucoma that you should be aware of include eye pain or discomfort, headaches, nausea or vomiting, halos around lights, and sudden onset of visual field loss. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see an eye doctor as soon as possible for an evaluation.
What are the first signs that glaucoma is developing?
There are two main types of glaucoma — open angle and closed angle — and symptoms will depend on which type you have. How early can glaucoma start? Glaucoma can start at any age but is most common in adults over the age of 60. It is also more likely to develop if it runs in your family.
If you have symptoms of high eye pressure, but no other early symptoms of glaucoma, you may believe it is unnecessary to have it checked. However, if left untreated, high eye pressure can lead to glaucoma. This is why it’s important to have regular eye exams so that your doctor can check the pressure inside your eyes and look for early signs of glaucoma.
Please note that the doctors at Eye Center of Texas do not perform routine eye examinations. We encourage our patients to visit our partner Optometrists, available on our recommended optometrists page.
Symptoms of open-angle glaucoma
This is the most common type of glaucoma and typically has no early symptoms. As the disease progresses, you may start to experience visual field loss. This means you will gradually lose your peripheral vision to see objects to the side.
If this type of glaucoma is not detected early, it can lead to total blindness, making your annual eye exams even more important. During a comprehensive eye exam, your doctor will check for early signs of glaucoma and measure the pressure inside your eyes. This is done with a tool called a tonometer. If glaucoma is suspected, your doctor may perform additional tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Symptoms of closed-angle glaucoma
This type of glaucoma is less common but can be more severe because it can develop quickly and cause a sudden increase in eye pressure. Closed-angle glaucoma can cause symptoms such as:
- Eye pain or redness
- Severe headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sudden onset of visual field loss
- Blurred vision
Closed-angle glaucoma is classified as a medical emergency. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see an eye doctor immediately to ask about your glaucoma symptoms and treatment. Because there is some overlap in symptoms between cataracts vs. glaucoma, it’s important to get a diagnosis quickly since glaucoma can cause long-term damage to the optic nerve.
Symptoms of glaucoma in children
Pediatric glaucoma can develop in children and infants, but it is much less common. Glaucoma in children can be a result of chronic steroid use, trauma, an underlying medical condition, or a genetic factor such as family history. The early symptoms of glaucoma in children can be different from those in adults and may include:
- Eye pain or discomfort
- Nausea or vomiting
- Tears without crying
- Halos around lights
- Sensitivity to light
- Sudden onset of visual field loss
- Dull or cloudy eyes
If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, it’s important to see an eye doctor right away for an evaluation.
Is glaucoma hereditary?
Glaucoma can run in families, so if you have a family member with glaucoma, you may be at increased risk. Be sure to tell your eye doctor if you have a family history of glaucoma. Regular comprehensive eye exams are the best way to detect glaucoma early so that treatment can be started to help preserve your vision.
What causes glaucoma?
Although genetics play a large role in your likelihood of developing glaucoma, there are other factors to consider, including:
- Eye injuries or trauma
- Certain medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure
- Use of steroids, either in the form of eye drops or systemic steroids
- Previous eye surgery
- Cigarette smoking
- High blood pressure
Glaucoma treatment options
If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, there are several treatment options available to help slow the progression of the disease and preserve your vision. These include:
- Eyedrops: Several different types of eyedrops can be used to treat glaucoma. These help to lower the pressure inside your eye by either decreasing the amount of fluid produced or increasing the outflow of fluid from your eye.
- Oral medications: Your doctor may also prescribe oral medications to help lower the pressure inside your eye. These work by decreasing the amount of fluid produced or increasing the outflow of fluid from your eye.
- Laser surgery: The Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, or SLT laser procedure, is non-destructive and can be used to improve the outflow of fluid from your eye and help lower the pressure inside your eye.
- Filtration surgery: If glaucoma has caused damage to your optic nerve, surgery may be necessary to help preserve your vision.
If you have any questions about glaucoma symptoms and treatment, be sure to talk to your eye doctor. They will be able to help you develop a treatment plan that is right for you, as well as discuss what to expect after glaucoma surgery if that is the avenue you decide to take.
Concerned about potential early symptoms of glaucoma? Call Eye Center of Texas today!
If you have any concerns about your vision or are experiencing any early symptoms of glaucoma, don’t hesitate to contact us at Eye Center of Texas. Our team of specialized ophthalmologists, including our glaucoma specialists Mark L. Mayo, M.D. and Nicholas P. Bell, M.D., are experienced in diagnosing glaucoma symptoms and treatment. We will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is right for you to help you preserve your vision for the years ahead.
Call us today at 713-797-1010 to schedule your visit or request an appointment online.
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How to Find a Glaucoma Specialist in Houston
If you have been experiencing significant eye pressure or changes in vision, you may be wondering how to find a glaucoma specialist in Houston. It is estimated that more than two million Americans have no idea that they have some form of glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. Those affected can remain asymptomatic for years, making it exceedingly difficult to catch before damage is done.
The Houston glaucoma specialists at Eye Center of Texas are here to tell you a little more about glaucoma’s variations, symptoms, and risk factors — and where to go for a wide variety of quality treatment options.
Symptoms of glaucoma
How do you know if you have glaucoma? Because glaucoma can be symptomless, it is important that those concerned about their eye health see a Houston glaucoma specialist and ask questions about their eye health. When glaucoma does present symptoms, they can look like this:
- Vision loss
- Blurred vision, narrowed vision
- Eye pressure
Regular eye exams are your first line of defense against glaucoma. Your eye doctor can identify risk factors that may increase your chances of developing glaucoma and conduct tests to detect the disease before it can cause too much damage to your vision.
Types of glaucoma
There are four types of glaucoma, with two being more prevalent than others:
- Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. It is caused by improper drainage of the canals through which aqueous fluids drain. Eye pressure from lack of drainage will increase over time, eventually damaging the optic nerve.
- Angle-closure glaucoma is the more rare, acute version of open-angle glaucoma. Patients suffering from angle-closure glaucoma often suffer from nausea, headaches, and vision interruptions.
- Normal-tension glaucoma is a bit of a mystery. It functions similarly to open-angle glaucoma, but it develops under normal eye conditions, i.e., not under abnormal pressure.
- Secondary glaucoma is when glaucoma is brought about by a secondary condition, such as diabetes, cataracts, or tumors.
Can early signs of glaucoma be reversed? Although there are no miracle cures, glaucoma can be stopped from progressing if caught in the early stages. Home remedies for cataracts and glaucoma don’t really exist, although simple things like maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding smoking are considered preventative.
What kind of doctor treats a patient with glaucoma?
For medical treatment of glaucoma, usually with eye drops, a Therapeutic Optometrist or an Ophthalmologist can provide this treatment. Should a laser or surgical procedure be recommended, an Eye Center of Texas Ophthalmologist is trained to provide these surgical procedures. They can also diagnose wet or dry macular degeneration and a host of other common eye diseases.
Glaucoma treatments are focused on relieving pressure caused by liquid buildup in the eye. There is no cure for glaucoma, so treatment usually refers to prescription medication to control the glaucoma, or a surgical option can be discussed.
There are a few types of glaucoma surgery:
- Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a laser treatment for glaucoma in which a laser creates small holes to relieve intraocular pressure. This procedure is quick and painless, according to most patients.
- Filtration surgery (trabeculectomy) is similar to SLT but without the laser. Instead, the surgeon makes a small incision to relieve the pressure. This surgery has a very high success rate and has more long-lasting results than SLT.
- Shunts or implants, like the iStent medical implant, can be inserted manually that allow the eye to drain properly.
Glaucoma surgery recovery time is relatively short compared to other eye surgeries, usually lasting only 3-6 weeks, and is reportedly not highly painful or uncomfortable. Patients are encouraged to avoid strenuous activity and protect their eyes from harsh conditions during recovery. Patients can generally return back to normal activity only a day or two after the procedure.
See a glaucoma specialist in Houston at Eye Center of Texas
If you are looking for a glaucoma specialist in Houston, look no further than Eye Center of Texas, where many of the top eye surgeons in Houston can get to work on correcting your vision. The surgeons at Eye Center of Texas perform cataract surgery, LASIK surgery, and corneal surgery, in addition to the many options for glaucoma surgery.
Don’t let glaucoma go undetected, call us at 713-797-1010 or make an appointment online to see an ophthalmologist today.
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How Do You Know if You Have Glaucoma?
How do you know if you have glaucoma? This question might be one you begin asking if, suddenly, you find your vision getting worse. First things first: don’t panic, don’t jump to conclusions, and make an appointment with your ophthalmologist. There are many reasons why your vision could suddenly take a dive, and they can help pinpoint exactly what is causing your vision to degrade.
However, all of that said, sudden vision loss can be a symptom of glaucoma.
Glaucoma is an irreversible eye disease that can dramatically affect the optic nerve. Glaucoma causes are still being studied, but the most frequently-cited cause is high pressure in the eye causing damage to the optic nerves. Eventually, glaucoma can lead to vision loss and, in rare cases, blindness.
Since it can be difficult to spot early symptoms of glaucoma, it’s important to know the basics of the disease: what the early warning signs of glaucoma are, how to prevent and/or slow the progress of glaucoma, and your treatment options.
How do you know if you have glaucoma? The first signs
Each type of glaucoma has some symptoms that are particular to it. There are four types of glaucoma, with two types in particular being more prominent. So if you’re wondering, “What is the first sign of glaucoma?” or even “What are the symptoms of high eye pressure?” then you need to understand the differences between open-angle glaucoma and acute angle-closure glaucoma.
The basics of open-angle glaucoma
With open-angle glaucoma, symptoms only really pop up once you’ve already experienced substantial vision loss. Because of these circumstances, it is very hard to detect this form of glaucoma early on without an experienced doctor and regular eye exams. You might experience symptoms such as blank spots or tunnel vision, but other than that, symptoms may not surface until the disease is already advanced.
The basics of acute angle-closure glaucoma
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is not as common as open-angle glaucoma, but the symptoms are more noticeable. However, once symptoms do show up, you can expect damage to happen quickly, and you will need to see a doctor as soon as possible. Symptoms can include halo lights, eye or head pain, nausea, and blurry vision.
Prevention and treatment of glaucoma
It can be difficult to spot glaucoma on your own, especially since glaucoma can be “symptomless” before it causes permanent damage. This is why regular eye exams are not only important for the overall health of your eye but one of the primary ways to prevent and begin early treatment of glaucoma. Remember — early treatment is your best defense against glaucoma.
With regular eye exams, your doctor can also provide you with custom tips based on your health history and help you understand whether or not you’re more at risk of developing glaucoma. These tips should give you a better chance of avoiding glaucoma altogether.
On top of this, your doctor can conduct tests during your eye exams that can detect the disease before you experience any substantial vision loss. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, your doctor can then provide you with a variety of glaucoma treatment options, including medication and options for glaucoma surgery, including the i-Stent surgery for glaucoma for patients who also have cataracts.
General tips to help you avoid or slow down the progression of glaucoma
- Regular eye exams: Not to sound like a broken record — but whatever you do, don’t forget to treat your eyes to regular exams! If you’re under the age of 30, you can likely go every 2-4 years without an exam (if you’re experiencing no issues). But as you age, you’ll need to reduce the amount of time between each exam.
- Treat your body right: Eating right, exercising daily, and not smoking can help you steer clear (or at least slow down the progression) of glaucoma. This will promote blood flow and help lower your intraocular pressure (IOP), which is critical in the fight against glaucoma.
- Protect those eyes: While it may seem like common sense, protecting your eyes isn’t something most people think about on a regular basis. It’s a lot like applying sunscreen — we know we should, but do we really? Your eyes are no different than your skin. Protect them from the sun by wearing sunglasses and avoid unnecessary risks, like looking directly at the sun.
FAQ: How long does it take to go blind from glaucoma?
With a diagnosis of glaucoma, some patients are quick to worry about going blind. Fortunately, glaucoma tends to progress slowly and, so long as you are making your regular eye doctor appointments, you will likely catch the disease in enough time to treat it. While there is no cure for glaucoma, treatment can frequently reduce the rate of progression such that patients will be able to read and see well all the way into their old age.
Without treatment, glaucoma will likely advance more quickly. The rate of progression will depend highly on the patient’s eye health and the type of glaucoma they’re experiencing. It is estimated that untreated glaucoma may cause blindness 10-20 years after onset, but these numbers still vary widely.
Prevent and treat glaucoma at Eye Center of Texas
In short, the best piece of advice we can offer to patients wondering, “How do you know if you have glaucoma?” is to visit your ophthalmologist.
At Eye Center of Texas, we want to keep Houstonians seeing clearly for many years to come. Our doctors have performed thousands of successful eye surgeries, including glaucoma and iStent eye surgery. Concerned that you may have glaucoma? Simply experiencing more vision loss than normal? Give us a call at 713-797-1010 or request an appointment online.
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Glaucoma and Cataracts
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:
- What Causes Cataracts?
- Cataract Surgery – Laser vs. Traditional
- Can You Wait Too Long to Have Cataract Surgery?
- Having Cataract Surgery in Both Eyes at Once
- Cataract Surgery Cost: Understanding Insurance & More
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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The Different Types of Glaucoma Explained
While there are different types of glaucoma, it’s important to remember that each one is serious and can cause permanent and life-long damage to your vision. In some cases, glaucoma can even lead to blindness. So if you think you might be suffering from glaucoma, don’t take the risk of avoiding treatment.
Let’s take a few moments to cover the different types of glaucoma and different types of medical treatments available for glaucoma patients.
Out of the many different types of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma is the most common. Open-Angle Glaucoma is caused by improper drainage. More specifically, the drainage canals become clogged or blocked due to aqueous fluids moving too slowly out of the eye.
Over time, this buildup can increase eye pressure, damage the optic nerve, and negatively impact vision. Open-angle glaucoma can often go unnoticed, which is why it’s important to have routine eye exams.
Many patients come to us with the question, “What is the difference between open and closed-angle glaucoma?” Unlike open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma (often referred to as closed-angle glaucoma) is rare, develops quickly, and is very noticeable. In other words, you should notice the symptoms fairly soon and realize you need to seek medical treatment.
Like open-angle glaucoma, this type of glaucoma is also caused by improper drainage, but there is a narrow angle where the iris meets the cornea (almost as if the cornea is closing). With angle-closure glaucoma, patients might suffer from additional symptoms, including nausea, blurred vision, and headaches.
If you’re in the process of seeking medical treatment, check out our articles regarding glaucoma treatment options and glaucoma surgery recovery.
Normal-Tension Glaucoma (NTG)
Normal-tension glaucoma is very similar to open-angle glaucoma; however, in this type of glaucoma, the pressure in your eye remains normal. While there is still research as to why this happens, many experts believe normal-tension glaucoma happens when other things are at play (such as a family history of glaucoma or a general sensitivity to normal pressure).
Secondary glaucoma does not occur due to improper drainage. Instead, it is brought on by another eye problem. This “problem” can come in many different forms, with tumors, diabetes, and cataracts being the most common causes.
Have glaucoma and cataracts? Learn more about having glaucoma and cataract surgery at the same time.
Eye Center of Texas treats all types of glaucoma
If you notice symptoms of glaucoma or simply haven’t had your eyes checked in a while, call Eye Center of Texas. Glaucoma can become very serious if not diagnosed and treated quickly. Our experts can go over treatment options such as laser treatment for glaucoma and are happy to answer glaucoma FAQs.
Request an appointment online or call Eye Center of Texas today at 713-797-1010.
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What to Expect After Glaucoma Surgery
Knowing what to expect after glaucoma surgery can be just as important than knowing what happens during the surgery itself. After all, you won’t be spending your recovery time in a hospital.
As with all eye surgeries, it’s crucial that patients take good care of their eyes post-op in order to protect their eye health and vision. Learn what to expect after glaucoma surgery, the precautions you should take, and the tools that you’ll need for a successful recovery.
What are the different types of glaucoma surgery?
Glaucoma treatment focuses on lowering the intraocular pressure of the eyes caused by fluid buildup. There are glaucoma medications that can help lower intraocular pressure. But what if the body either stops responding to these medications or the patient has reached the maximum dosage? In these cases, glaucoma surgery is typically the next step patients take.
There are many types of glaucoma surgery, and knowing what to expect after glaucoma surgery will depend on which surgery is performed. The three glaucoma surgeries outlined here —selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), Trabeculectomy, and shunts/implants — are some of the most common. Note that many patients with glaucoma and cataracts opt to have both surgeries at the same time.
- Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is, as its name suggests, laser treatment for glaucoma, during which an ophthalmologist creates very small holes to relieve pressure with a laser aimed where the cornea and iris come together. Some patients worry: “Is the SLT surgery painful?” While having a laser pointed at your eye might sound scary, most SLT recipients report little to no discomfort during or after the surgery.
- During a trabeculectomy, an ophthalmologist creates a very small surgical incision to help drain the fluid and decrease the intraocular pressure. The results of this procedure tend to be more permanent than SLT, and typically has a high success rate, according to patients living with a trabeculectomy.
- In this option, shunts or implants are surgically inserted into the eye. You may also hear of these as eye stents for glaucoma. Once completed, these surgeries — including the iStent glaucoma and cataract surgery — allow for the shunt or implant to replace the eye’s damaged draining system, reducing intraocular pressure.
How long does it take to recover from glaucoma surgery?
Recovery time after glaucoma surgery varies per patient and per surgery, but most patients heal within 3 to 6 weeks. Reserve the day after the surgery for recovery time. During the rest of the recovery time, it’s generally recommended that postoperative glaucoma patients avoid strenuous activity. This type of activity includes heavy lifting, exercise, stressful work, etc.
Driving after glaucoma surgery
The day of and the day after surgery, it’s best to coordinate and pre-plan any rides and transportation that you will need. Beyond that, like recovery time, when you can begin driving after glaucoma surgery will depend on the patient or the surgery, with some patients reporting that they feel comfortable driving within a week, and others prefer to wait for up to two months.
Other necessary precautions after glaucoma surgery
When asked about glaucoma surgery, we often receive questions such as, “Is glaucoma surgery dangerous?” and “Is there pain after glaucoma surgery?” Glaucoma surgery is a common procedure and regarded as safe with minimal pain during recovery. We also receive many questions about proper precautions after glaucoma surgery.
With any procedure there is some small risk of infection after surgery. Some common precautions that most doctors recommend their patients take to avoid infection and other issues after glaucoma surgery include:
- Don’t rub or scratch your eyes. It’s common for vision to be blurry for a few days after glaucoma surgery, as well as for your eyes to sometimes feel itchy. Whatever you do, resist the temptation to rub or scratch your eyes.
- Take all prescribed eye drops. These eye drops can help soothe the aforementioned itchiness and stave off infections.
- Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity. While no one is asking you to spend the next few weeks on the couch, it’s wise to avoid the gym during recovery time. If your job requires heavy lifting, you may need to request additional time off of work or request other assignments while you recover.
- Avoid swimming pools. No matter how refreshing a dip in the water might sound, swimming pools, hot tubs, and saunas are breeding ground for infection-causing bacteria, and it’s best to avoid them during recovery.
What is the success rate of glaucoma surgery?
Glaucoma surgery has a high success rate. The vast majority of patients report that their eye pressure has gone down after glaucoma surgery, improving their eye health overall.
Thanks to Eye Center of Texas, thousands of Houstonians have received successful glaucoma surgery from our glaucoma specialists in Houston. In fact, over 275 Houston-area eye doctors refer their patients to Eye Center of Texas exclusively. To find out if cataract surgery is right for you, schedule an appointment today.
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Glaucoma & Cataract Surgery: The iStent Procedure
Ready for some good news? If you’re considering having glaucoma and cataract surgery done together, you may now be able to take advantage of the innovative iStent eye surgery. For many, the iStent eye surgery has reduced both their intraocular pressure and their use of (sometimes expensive) medicated eye drops. To make a good deal better, iStent eye surgery is typically covered by insurance.
Learn About Glaucoma from Bono
For two decades Bono’s insistence on wearing sunglasses, even when indoors, has been seen simply as part of his rockstar image. But did you know that his trademark shades are instead there to alleviate difficulties caused by glaucoma? For the past 20 years he has had glaucoma, a condition that can make eyes more sensitive to light. Click on the link below: “4 Things You Can Learn About Glaucoma From Bono”:
Glaucoma Awareness Information
According to the National Eye Institute(NEI), of the 2.7 million Americans who have glaucoma, 50 percent don’t know it. Glaucoma is a condition in which pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve and most patients have no symptoms at all in its early stages. If left untreated, it can lead to vision loss and blindness.
To see how glaucoma affects your vision? Check out this glaucoma vision simulator:
Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, from babies to senior citizens, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. In the U.S., more than 120,000 people are blind from glaucoma, and glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. Blindness from glaucoma is six to eight times more common in African-Americans than Caucasians.
The good news is…glaucoma can be detected in its early stages through a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
Have Glaucoma & Cataracts?
Today there is good news for patients considering cataract surgery and who have glaucoma. The FDA-approved iStent is great news for people who have both a cataract and glaucoma,” says Dr. Mark Mayo. The eye drops used to treat glaucoma can be difficult to administer and expensive. With iStent, many patients will need less medicine to control their eye pressure and some may not need prescription eye drops at all.” Studies have shown that more than 90% of patients do not comply with their ocular medication dosing regimens and nearly 50% discontinue taking their medications before 6 months. Dr. Mayo cautions that, “This can be a serious problem. When pressure in the eye is out of control, it can increase the risk for permanent vision loss. I consider iStent an important advancement in protecting against vision loss for my glaucoma patients.”
How Does iStent Work?
iStent works like the stents used to prevent heart attacks and strokes. When blood vessels get clogged, a stent creates access to the vessel flow. While a highly innovative technology, how iStent works is elegantly simple:
- If you have glaucoma, over time the eye’s natural drainage system becomes clogged
- iStent creates a permanent opening through the blockage to improve the eye’s natural outflow & spares the eye tissue often damaged in traditional surgeries
- Restoring this mechanism lowers and controls pressure within the eye
iStent is the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA. It is placed in your eye during cataract surgery and is so small that you won’t be able to see or feel it after the procedure is over. It is 20,000 times smaller than the lens implanted during cataract surgery. iStent is designed to create a permanent opening in your trabecular meshwork, and works continuously to improve the outflow of fluid from your eyes to help control eye pressure.
iStent Q & A:
- What causes high eye or intraocular pressure?
Your eye uses an intricate fluid outflow system to keep it balanced and healthy. At the center of this system is the trabecular meshwork. In patients with open-angle glaucoma, a blockage in the trabecular meshwork keeps the fluid in your eye from draining properly. When this happens, fluid backs up and eye pressure rises.
- How does iStent lower eye pressure?
iStent is designed to create a permanent opening in your eye’s drainage system to improve the outflow of fluid from your eyes. By increasing fluid outflow, iStent lowers pressure within the eye.
- How big is the stent?
It is about the size of the letter c in the word cent on a penny. In fact, it is the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA.
- Is iStent safe?
Yes. iStent is a safe glaucoma treatment and has been approved by the FDA for mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma.
- Will I be able to feel or see the iStent in my eye?
No. iStent is so small you won’t be able to see or feel it after the procedure.
- Does iStent hurt?
No. iStent does not hurt. You will not even know it is there.
- Will I be able to stop taking my glaucoma eye drops?
In a U.S. clinical trial, iStent patients who achieved a target pressure of <21, were more likely not to need their medications than patients with cataract only surgery. It helps decrease the likelihood that a second glaucoma medication would need to be added in the future.
- How much does iStent cost?
iStent is covered by Medicare and many private insurance plans.
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