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. Glaucoma usually causes no symptoms in the early stages, and so it is important to come in for regular eye exams as your eye doctor recommends to monitor the condition.
There are a variety of surgical treatments for glaucoma available.
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.
In the past, glaucoma surgery was reserved for only the most severe cases in which the eye pressure could not be controlled by eye drops and/or laser glaucoma surgery. However there are now new surgical treatments available that are safer and less aggressive than traditional glaucoma surgery. Because these procedures are performed through very small incisions, they are grouped under the term “microincisional” glaucoma surgery.
The eye pressure is determined by the balance of how quickly the eye produces aqueous fluid that fills the front part of the eye, and how quickly that fluid is reabsorbed into the blood stream. MIGS procedures focus on improving the outflow of that aqueous fluid. Dr. Dale performs two types of MIGS procedures. She can place a small stent in the drainage area of the eye (called the trabecular meshwork) to improve the outflow of fluid. Additionally she can perform a procedure called a goniotomy, where a portion of the meshwork is gently removed. In some patients a combination of these two procedures can be performed.
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