Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness for people more than 60 years old. Blindness can often be prevented with early treatment. In most cases, treatment involves using medications or procedures to lower eye pressure.
For most patients, glaucoma does not cause any symptoms in the early stages. Monitoring patients who are at risk of glaucoma due to family history, ethnicity, age, or other risk factors is an important part of their medical eye care. All of our doctors are experienced in monitoring and medical treatment of glaucoma. Eye drops to lower eye pressure may be recommended along with an evaluation of the health of the optic nerves and the eye pressure at regular intervals.
Eye pressure is determined by the balance between the eye's production of aqueous fluid and the drainage of aqueous fluid from the eye through a drainage system called the trabecular meshwork. Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a laser procedure that improves the ease with which aqueous fluid exits the eye. Dr. Rebecca Dale, MD, performs the SLT laser for our patients at Eastside Surgery Center in Issaquah and follow-up care can be provided by all of our doctors.
The Hydrus Microstent is a flexible device roughly the size of an eyelash that is inserted into the eye's drainage system to lower eye pressure. The highly flexible Hydrus Microstent is placed by a surgeon during cataract surgery using microscopic incisions. This less invasive approach allows for fewer complications and faster healing times than traditional glaucoma surgery. In a clinical trial of 556 patients, 78% of those who had the Hydrus Microstent remained on medication two years after implantation. Our surgeon, Dr. Rebecca Dale, MD, is pleased to offer this option to patients with glaucoma who are also ready for cataract surgery.
Today, more micro-invasive surgical options are available for patients who are interested in effective glaucoma management without having to rely solely on the continuous use of prescription medication.
Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) has become the preferred approach to glaucoma management for many eye care professionals and their patients with mild-to-moderate glaucoma.
iStent inject® W is FDA-approved and is one of the smallest medical devices known to be implanted in the human body. Approved for glaucoma patients with cataracts, iStent inject® W is implanted at the time of cataract surgery. You won’t see or feel the stents after they are inserted, but they are designed to effectively manage your intraocular pressure (IOP).