New Procedure iStent For Treating Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that affects over 60 million people
worldwide and is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness. In a
normal eye, the fluid behind the cornea (aqueous humor) is filtered out of
the eye through a structure called the trabecular meshwork. In eyes with
glaucoma, the trabecular meshwork is unable to effectively filter out the
aqueous and the intraocular pressure increases.
The damage to vision is caused when pressure within the eye is too high and causes a cupping of the
optic disc. This cupping eventually leads to loss of visual field. The only treatment that reduces the progression of glaucoma is reducing intraocular
pressure. This is usually achieved through the use of topical antiglaucoma
drops, laser treatment or glaucoma filtration surgery. Surgery is usually
reserved for more advanced stages of glaucoma because of the possibility of
There is a new and promising surgical therapy for glaucoma that is designed
to improve aqueous outflow and lower intraocular pressure–the iStent
Trabecular Micro-Bypass stent. It is the smallest medical device ever
approved by the FDA and is placed in your eye during cataract surgery. It is
so small you won’t be able to feel or see it after surgery but it creates a
permanent opening in the trabecular meshwork and continually helps improve
the outflow of fluid from your eye. This may control the intraocular
pressure enough to reduce dependence on antiglaucoma medications, but this
will be at the discretion of your doctor.
If you have both glaucoma and cataracts, ask your eye doctor if the iStent
is a good treatment for you.