An estimated 3 million U.S. adults are living with glaucoma, which is one of the leading causes of permanent vision loss in the world. Glaucoma occurs when there is too much pressure inside the eye, usually as a result of their being an accumulation of fluid, caused by a blockage in the drainage channels that usually balance the amount of fluid present. The majority of glaucoma patients suffer from glaucoma which develops very slowly, and they may not even realize that they are affected until the condition is detected during a routine eye exam. However, in rare cases, a patient can develop glaucoma very quickly. This requires urgent treatment from a professional to get the pressure under control and prevent any further damage to the patient’s vision. There are a number of different glaucoma treatments available, with one of the newest being the iStent inject®.
iStent inject® is a microscopic trabecular bypass implant that is transforming treatment for open-angle (slow-developing) glaucoma. We are delighted to now offer this treatment, which is carried out in conjunction with cataract surgery) at our modern, eye care center.
iStent inject® is a microscopic tube-shaped implant that is surgically inserted into the natural drainage channel of the eye. Once in place, it increases the drainage capacity of fluid from the eye and reduces intraocular pressure by an average of 20%. iStent inject® even makes it possible for patients to reduce or even eliminate their reliance on using eye drops for glaucoma, with studies showing than 7 in 10 patients who have had the iStent inject® have been able to stop using eye drops to control their intraocular pressure.
Although some patients have concerns about surgically implanted devices, the iStent inject® is made from non-magnetic titanium which ensures that it won’t be rejected by the body or cause an allergic reaction. It will also not trigger airport scanners or interfere with MRI scanning.
In many instances, patients choose to have their iStent placed at the time of cataract surgery which eliminates the need for two separate procedures. Patients are given a local anesthetic which numbs their eyes and ensures that they don’t feel any pain, but they remain awake for the duration of the procedure which takes only a few minutes. Once the iStent is in place, patients shouldn’t be able to feel or see the device. Patients can return home the same day, but you may need to schedule a few days off of work so that your eyes can rest. You will also be advised to avoid any strenuous or heavy physical activities as these could increase the pressure within your eyes.
Patients are usually given eye drops to administer at home following their iStent surgery. These contain both anti-inflammatory medications and antibiotics which will help your eyes to heal and prevent you from contracting an infection while you heal.
Before you can undergo the procedure to be fitted with an iStent, you will first need to attend a consultation to make sure that you are a suitable candidate for the treatment. This will involve a thorough assessment of your eyes and medical history, and an evaluation of the extent to which you are affected by glaucoma. Typically, patients who are found to be good candidates for the treatment fulfill the following criteria:
- They have good general health and no other concerning eye health problems
- They have mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma
- They are currently taking at least one type of medication to control their intraocular pressure
- They have been approved for cataract surgery
For more information about iStent inject® or to schedule a consultation with our experienced ophthalmologist, Dr. Hazem Samy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our offices in Jacksonville, FL today by calling (904) 601-1300.