Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness for people over 60 years old. But blindness from glaucoma can be prevented with screening and early treatment.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease that damages your eye’s optic nerve. It usually happens when fluid builds up in the front part of your eye. That extra fluid increases the pressure in your eye, damaging the optic nerve.
To learn more about glaucoma watch the following videos:
Treatment of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a progressive disease with symptoms evident in late stages. By then, the impairment in vision is usually significant and irreversible.
It is therefore very important to aggressively screen for and treat glaucoma. The first line of treatment usually involves use of daily drops or an in-office laser treatment (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty) to lower the eye pressure. Both are equally effective in head-to-head studies in lowering the pressure in the eyes. Lasered patients do not have to use daily drops.
To learn more watch this video:
Treatment of Glaucoma with Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)
For patients who cannot tolerate drops, or for whom laser was not effective, minimally invasive glaucoma surgery may be recommended to control the pressure. These procedures have a good success rate, and minimal recovery. They are also commonly performed at the time of cataract surgery to spare the patients an extra trip to the operating room.
There are 2 basic types of MIGS:
1) Placement of stents in the drain of the eye. Watch this video about how iStent is placed during the surgery.
2) Widening and opening of the drain using the OMNI system.
Both of these procedures are effective in lowering the eye pressure, and some patients are able to stop using their glaucoma drops. In cases of more advanced glaucoma, these procedures can save patients from a more extensive surgery,