Glaucoma is a disease in which the optic nerve in the eye is damaged over time. The optic nerve is responsible for transporting an image from the eye to the brain. When the optic nerve is damaged, the connection between the eye and brain is lost and vision is irreversibly impaired. Unlike many diseases, glaucoma may not have obvious symptoms and can cause damage to the eye without warning. Because vision loss is irreversible and painless, early detection and treatment of glaucoma is critical.
Because glaucoma is a progressive disease, periodic monitoring of the condition is required. This often includes a combination of intraocular pressure checks, dilated eye examinations, and optic nerve and visual field evaluations with your doctor. Depending on the type and severity of glaucoma, treatment may include a combination of eyedrops, laser procedures, or surgery.
The Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, or SLT, is a laser used in office for the treatment and management of certain types of glaucoma. In some cases, this procedure may reduce intraocular pressure when topical treatment alone can no longer provide adequate control of eye pressure.
The iStent, a micro invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) device, is implanted at the time of cataract surgery to provide a further drop in eye pressure. This device is the smallest medical implant available today. Although small in size, the iStent may provide a much safer level of eye pressure for patients and may later reduce the number of topical medications required to control glaucoma.