Glaucoma is a chronic disease defined by optic nerve damage. 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.
Glaucoma is a progressive disease, and 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.
Canaloplasty and Goniotomy are glaucoma procedures that can be performed in conjunction or independently of cataract surgery. These procedures are done from inside of the eye, with the goal of lowering eye pressure to prevent vision loss from glaucoma. Canaloplasty is a technique that enlarges the natural drainage structure in the eye allowing better outflow of fluid. Goniotomy (or Trabeculotomy ab interno) is a procedure that involves creating a microscopic opening in the drainage structure to provide better outflow of fluid from the eye. If you have glaucoma, your doctor will determine if you are a candidate for these procedures and which option is right for you.
The iStent and the Hydrus Microstent are micro invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) devices. These devices are implanted at the time of cataract surgery to provide a further drop in eye pressure, providing a great option for many patients who need both cataract and glaucoma treatment. The iStent and the Hydrus Microstent are some of the smallest medical implants available today. Although small in size, these devices may provide a much safer level of eye pressure for patients and may later reduce the number of topical medications required to control glaucoma. During your evaluation, your doctor will determine if you are a candidate for a MIGS device.
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.