Cataracts and glaucoma are the leading causes for blindness. In the US alone, 20-22 million people suffer from cataracts, and an estimated 2.2 million people have glaucoma, though nearly half are not yet aware they have it. Both conditions are generally associated with aging, and most who suffer from either disease are over 40. However, everyone – young or old – is at risk for glaucoma.
Cataracts tend to be a natural part of aging as over time old cells and proteins get trapped in the eye’s lens and cause cloudy or blurred vision. Glaucoma is caused by elevated eye pressure; tubes that normally allow fluid to flow out of the eye can become blocked, thus leading to increased pressure that can damage the optic nerve. At first a person can experience blind spots in his peripheral vision; without treatment, these spots can grow and lead to total blindness.
Both cataracts and glaucoma are progressive diseases without a cure. However, early diagnosis, along with treatment can halt progression and possibly reclaim some sight. Over time, surgical and technological developments have led to better vision correction techniques and operations that are minimally invasive. These procedures can be done as out-patient treatments and have faster patient recovery times allowing patients to return to their usual daily routines and resume normal, active lives. The iStent is the latest of these developments and is the smallest FDA-approved medical device.
iStent – A Solution for Glaucoma
The iStent Trabecular Micro-bypass stent is implanted during cataract surgery, and once in place it is neither seen nor felt by the patient. The iStent is placed in the trabecular meshwork to create a permanent opening that works continuously to improve the flow of fluid out of the eye. This improved functionality reduces and helps control eye pressure, making it a great option for managing open-angle glaucoma.
Implanting the iStent adds only an extra 5-10 minutes to cataract surgery. Also, it can reduce damage that can be potentially caused by traditional surgeries, and it doesn’t limit your options for any future treatments you may need to maintain your vision.
Finding Out if iStent is Right for You
As with any medical treatment or procedure, the iStent may not be appropriate for all and is not approved for treating all forms of glaucoma. It was developed for treating adult patients with combined cataracts and mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma that is currently being treated with ocular hypotensive medication. At the Claris Eye Institute, Dr. Keith Carlson and the ophthalmic team can determine if the iStent is appropriate for you.
Helping Minneapolis Combat the Effects of Glaucoma and Cataracts
When it comes to your eyes and vision, don’t take any chances and skip visits to your optometrist or ophthalmologist. Part of any complete eye exam is the testing for signs of glaucoma or cataracts. As these are progressive conditions that may not present symptoms that are immediate or noticeable, be sure to have regular, yearly eye examinations. This is especially recommended for patients 65 years and over.
With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Carlson has performed thousands of laser and other vision correction surgeries for a multitude of patients in the Minneapolis area. He opened Claris Eye Care & Surgery in 2009 and located it next to the renowned Phillips Eye Institite, where Dr. Carlson performs all surgeries using the best of today’s technology.
Glaucoma & Cataract Treatment varies from medicated eye drops to surgery. If you suffer from glaucoma, the Claris team is here for you and can discuss all treatment options. And for those with open-angle glaucoma, Claris has more information about the iStent and how it may be able to help you.
You can reach the Claris office by calling 612.775.8009 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you would simply like to receive more information.