Glaucoma is part of a group of diseases of the optic nerve involving loss of retinal ganglion cells in a characteristic pattern of optic neuropathy. Raised intraocular pressure is a significant risk factor for developing glaucoma (above 22mmHg). One person may develop nerve damage at a relatively low pressure, while another person may have high eye pressure for years and yet never develop damage. Untreated glaucoma leads to permanent damage of the optic nerve and resultant visual field loss, which can progress to blindness.
Glaucoma can be divided roughly into two main categories, “open angle” or chronic Glaucoma and “closed angle” or acute glaucoma. Angle closure, acute glaucoma appears suddenly and often with painful side effects and so is usually diagnosed quickly, although damage and loss of vision can also occur very suddenly. Open angle, chronic glaucoma tends to progress more slowly and so the patient may not notice it until the disease has progressed quite significantly.
Glaucoma has been nicknamed the “sneak thief of sight” because the loss of visual field often occurs gradually over a long time and may only be recognized when it is already quite advanced. Once lost, this damaged visual field can never be recovered. Worldwide, it is the second leading cause of blindness. Glaucoma affects one in two hundred people aged fifty and younger and one in ten over the age of eighty.
iStent® Trabecular Micro-Bypass
Technology has always played an important role in eye care. Today, almost every aspect of vision is connected to a product or procedure that wasn’t available even ten short years ago. The cataract surgery you are scheduled for is a good example of how innovations can make a difference. Every aspect of it utilizes recently developed technology that will help us improve your vision. Today, this includes managing your mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma: because now we are able to add another step to your cataract surgery that allows you to treat your open-angle glaucoma in a completely new way. This is important because once diagnosed, you and most patients like you will spend the rest of your lives putting one, two or even three different kinds of drops in every day. Unfortunately, all of these drops will not only be inconvenient, but potentially very expensive. The iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent is designed to reduce your eye pressure and you can have it done at the same time you have cataract surgery.
iStent: the world’s smallest medical implant delivers big results in mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma.
While mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma is very common, many people are unaware of their condition, especially in the early stages, when their vision may be unaffected. In many people, open-angle glaucoma is characterized by an increase in the intraocular pressure (IOP) of your eye. This pressure is caused by the buildup of fluid within the eye. Too much fluid raises pressure, which can cause the gradual loss of vision. And while glaucoma moves slowly, its damage is irreparable.
The world’s tiniest medical device—iStent—is 20,000 times smaller than the intraocular lenses (IOL) used in your cataract surgery. But the size of iStent is only part of its story. By increasing the eye’s ability to drain fluid, this technology is designed to reduce the pressure in your eye.
In a U.S. clinical study, 68% of glaucoma patients who received iStent remained medication free at 12 months while sustaining a target IOP of ≤ 21 mm Hg vs. only 50% of patients who underwent cataract surgery alone.