Glaucoma: The Silent Thief of Sight

Did you know over 2 million Americans are affected by glaucoma? With proper treatment, the vast majority will not go blind from this silent disease of the eye.  The most common form of treatment is eye drops, which work to reduce the eye’s pressure.
However, some patients may require eye surgery to achieve their treatment goals.  Two newer minimally invasive surgical techniques and devices have been introduced and are showing promise to lower patient’s eye pressure and reduce Glaucoma damage.
The iStent is a medical device approved by the FDA in 2012 for implantation in the eye during cataract surgery in glaucoma patients.  It is a small metal snorkel that is placed in the eye’s natural drainage tube to create a wider opening so more fluid can leave the eye.  This extra outflow of fluid helps to lower the eye’s pressure. It has very few complications and many are self-limiting. In many patients, it is able to reduce the eye’s pressure, and some patients are even able to stop using drops.
The CyPass is another medical device approved by the FDA in 2016 for implantation in the eye during cataract surgery in glaucoma patients.  It is a long narrow polymer tube that is placed in the eye in an area called the suprachoroidal space. It is a more sophisticated method of getting fluid from inside the eye to drain into the bloodstream quickly, reducing eye pressure.  It has very few complications, but there are reported cases of the eye pressure going too low, called hypotony. Most patients get good eye pressure control right after the surgery and are able to stop using drops.
Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida is dedicated to using the latest technology available to help improve eye conditions such as glaucoma.  If you are concerned about the health of your eyes or vision, schedule an appointment with one of our eye doctors by calling 800-282-EYES.
This column is sponsored by Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida, P.A.
Bio: Dr. Aly Sheraly is an ophthalmologist at Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida, P.A., and is a board-certified cataract surgeon and glaucoma specialist. In addition to this expert column, Dr. Sheraly has presented at several regional, national and international meetings and published in several peer-reviewed publications. You can follow Dr. Sheraly on Twitter at @alysheralymd.

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