WHAT IS GLAUCOMA?
Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss. It is the second leading cause of blindness.
The most common form of the disease occurs when the ocular drainage canals become clogged over time. The inner eye pressure (also called intraocular pressure, or IOP) rises when the correct amount of fluid can’t drain out of the eye. With the most common form of glaucoma, the entrances to the drainage canals are clear, and should be working correctly. However, the clogging problem occurs farther inside the drainage canals. This is like a clogged pipe below the drain of a sink.
Glaucoma Care Options
The Xen Gel Stent is a surgical implant designed to lower high eye pressure in open-angle glaucoma patients where previous surgical treatment has failed and/or medications alone were insufficient. The stent creates a small channel in the eye to drain fluid and help lower eye pressure. It is very tiny and similar to the length of an eyelash. The stent is placed just under the conjuncitva, which is a clear membrane that covers the white of your eye.
iStent is one of the smallest devices known to be implanted in the human body and it can have benefits for glaucoma patients with cataracts. The stent creates two bypasses, or openings, between the front part of your eye and its natural drainage pathway, restoring your eye’s natural ability to drain fluid and reducing your eye pressure.
SLT is a laser procedure performed to lower eye pressure. Laser energy is applied to the trabecular meshwork. The trabecular meshwork is located in the front of the eye and is the natural drain for fluid. SLT stimulates the trabecular meshwork to increase the amount of fluid drained from within the eye, which lowers eye pressure. It may take up to 2 months for the laser to take its full effect.
LPI attempts to “open” a “narrow” angle. Since the angle is the part of the eye that drains fluid FROM the eye, narrowing of the angle can put the eye at risk for an acute attack of angle closure glaucoma. During the LPI, a laser is used to make a small opening in the peripheral iris (the colored part of the eye). This changes the fluid dynamics in the eye and “opens” the angle. If a patient already has acute angle closure glaucoma, the small opening that is made in the peripheral iris allows fluid to drain more normally and also lowers the eye pressure.