Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. In this type of the disease, the angle where the angle where the cornea and iris meet is unaffected, and remains open; however, the drainage canals in the eye have become clogged. Because the fluids cannot properly drain from the eye, they build up and increase the eye’s intraocular pressure. Over time, this pressure causes permanent damage and if left untreated, leads to eventual blindness. Unfortunately, there are no early warning signs of the disease. For the nearly four million Americans who will be affected, many will not receive diagnosis until the disease has already progressed. Medications and eye drops can help patients maintain a healthy intraocular pressure, but this often means adding from one to three different types of eye drops daily for the rest of their lives. For patients who suffer from combined open-angle glaucoma and cataracts, there is an exciting new surgical treatment that holds great promise.
The Glaukos iStent reduces intraocular pressure and works like stents that are implanted in cardiac patients to increase blood flow to the heart. The iStent provides relief by creating a permanent opening allowing improved outflow of aqueous humor fluid from your eye. This micro-invasive glaucoma surgery device is the smallest medical device to ever receive FDA approval, and can be safely inserted during cataract surgery. The Glaukos iStent is so tiny, it is fully 20,000 times smaller than the intraocular lenses that will be used during your cataract surgery. Following surgery, you will not be able to see or feel the device because the iStent is inserted through a 1.5mm incision in the cornea.
Cataract patients can receive surgical treatment for their mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma, but should be screened to rule out primary or secondary closed-angle glaucoma, or conditions that prevent surgeons from having a clear view of the angle between the cornea and iris. If your eye condition qualifies for this groundbreaking technology, trust your surgery and recovery to Alpine Eye Care. The leading eye care center in Northern Michigan, Alpine Eye Care provides comprehensive eye care services, including eye exams, vision correction, treatment of eye disease, cataract surgery and cosmetic procedures. Alpine Eye Care has the only two board-certified eye surgeons in Northern Michigan, and performs procedures in the safety and convenience of your local hospital. Call 1.877.SEE.2020 or schedule an appointment to learn more about how implantation of the Glaukos iStent can improve your vision and change your life.