Common Treatment Options
Medical treatment of glaucoma entails the daily use of prescription drugs to lower and stabilize the eye pressure. Many patients will take eye drops one to three times per day to control their glaucoma. However, ocular glaucoma medications can have systemic side effects, compliance issues, and cost issues for patients. It is very important to take glaucoma medications exactly as directed or the disease will progress resulting in loss of vision. Furthermore, the effectiveness of medications can change over time and close monitoring with comprehensive medical eye exams, visual field testing, and nerve imaging (OCT) is imperative. Nevertheless, treatment by medication is the most common treatment for glaucoma in the United States and is generally very successful when followed properly.
Select Laser Trabeculoplasty
SLT (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty) is a safe and simple laser treatment that effectively reduces the eye pressure for most patients with Primary Open Angle Glaucoma. The SLT mechanism of effect does not rely on medicines and is considered equal to medicine as a first line therapy for mild to moderate glaucoma. The SLT is performed on a structure known as the trabecular meshwork, which plays a vital role in the balance of internal eye pressure. As a result, the drainage system of the eye is stimulated and function usually improves. Although the effects of the laser will wear off over time, it can be safely repeated. In 2008, Eyes of York was the first facility in York to offer SLT. If you have glaucoma and are using medicated eye drops, ask your doctor about the SLT procedure at Eyes of York.
The iStent is implanted during cataract surgery for patients who have mild to moderate open angle glaucoma and are using at least one prescription eye drop to lower their intraocular pressure. The iStent is a 2mm device that works to increase the natural outflow of fluid through the eye by creating a permanent opening in what is known as the trabecular meshwork. It is placed during cataract surgery and cannot be seen, or felt, afterwards. The ultimate goal of the iStent is to reduce the pressure in the eye without the need for prescription eye drops. Not all patients with glaucoma are candidates. If you are nearing cataract surgery and have interest in this procedure, ask your doctor if the iStent is right for you.