Glaucoma lists as one of the leading causes of blindness in the USA. As many as 3 million Americans have the condition but only 50 percent know it. No cure exists for glaucoma, but an array of treatments do. Since 2012 a minimally invasive treatment known as iStent has been helping alleviate the problems caused by the disease.
What is Glaucoma?
The inner workings of the eyes have a liquid called aqueous humor. It baths the conjunctiva or mucous membranes of the eye and eyelid with a plasma-like fluid that nourishes and restores the cells. Produced by a set of cells known as the ciliary processes as much fluid those cells manufacture in ideal circumstances becomes the amount of fluid that drains out from the eye. Aqueous humor drains out into a spongy material in the front portion known as the trabecular meshwork and into a canal. Houston Lasik clinicians and staff can explain the eye’s anatomy and show graphics to make it clear. LASIK surgery does not address the underlying pressure issue glaucoma causes in the eye but the iStent procedure does. As the pressure builds in the eye it puts pressure on the optic nerve. The optic nerve serves as the primary conduit transmitting electrical impulses from the eye to the brain. Damage to the optic nerve causes blindness. Unfortunately, unless a person has regular eye exams as Houston Lasik clinics suggest they may have few symptoms until severe damage to the eye occurs.
To begin with iStent remains far less invasive than traditional glaucoma surgery. Identifying the individual patient’s trabecular meshwork has been a key element in the success of the laser eye surgery. Placing the iStent titanium tube in the meshwork increases the flowing out of the aqueous humor. The preference has been to implant it into the Schlemm canal itself. Monitoring the flow and matching to what the ciliary processes produce offers the balance needed in the eye and alleviates the pressure. The procedure can become combined with cataract surgery.
Within six weeks the eye base pressure will reach a new norm. A few patients report edema of the cornea, some inflammation and discomfort from the surgery. In most cases the reports remained positive. Many patients could reduce glaucoma eye drop medications or have no medication at all. Ophthalmologists reported good steady improvement in eyesight with the following visits and a significant reduction in eye pressure. They liked with a minimally invasive procedure that it left other more aggressive treatment options open if a patient had a change in their glaucoma.
Realize the iStent procedure though highly successful remains relatively new. It has not been tried out on all possibilities of glaucoma or even all age groups. As more patients have the surgery then more date will show what works well in most cases. The success of the operation depends much on the skills and knowledge of the doctor performing it. Call the Houston Lasik clinic and get a consultation if the iStent will help.
Houston Lasik leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Houston Lasik, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478.