It is not unusual that, as two relatively common diseases in the aging population, glaucoma and cataract can appear in the same person.
Cataract, a clouding of the natural lens of the eye, is quite common in the elderly population. When the cataract becomes dense enough to interfere with the patient’s lifestyle, it may be time for the cataract to be removed. An Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL) is used to restore the vision to near normal levels.
Glaucoma, a disease of the optic nerve, is usually associated with elevated intraocular pressure. Daily drops are often used in the eye to reduce the pressure and stop the progression of the disease. Unfortunately, glaucoma cannot be “removed” from the eye in the same way a cataract is permanently removed.
A new option…
Tired of the inconvenience of applying expensive glaucoma eye drops one to three times a day?
Want to significantly reduce constant eye pressure from glaucoma?
Now our patients with both cataracts and glaucoma have a new option, the iStent®. The iStent is an advanced, minimally invasive device designed to relieve pressure from right-angle glaucoma. iStent is the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA and is placed in the eye during cataract surgery. It is so small that the iStent can’t be seen or felt after surgery, but it will be continuously working to help reduce eye pressure. “I see patients every day who forget to take their glaucoma medication drops,” said Dr. Francis Clark. “Glaucoma can cause blindness, and I’m happy to be able to provide a new treatment option for my glaucoma patients.”
The entire procedure—cataract removal and iStent implantation—takes about 12 minutes while the patient is under topical anesthesia with light IV sedation, and the iStent component only takes about 4 minutes. Recovery time is no different than regular cataract surgery. “With the iStent, we now have the technology to remove cataracts and, at the same time, reduce dependency on glasses and glaucoma medications,” Dr. Clark explained. “In clinical trials, 85 percent of patients who received the iStent were off the eye drops within a year.”
If you have both glaucoma and cataracts, make an appointment with one of our offices today. We’ll discuss your options and see if the iStent is right for you!