iStent Provides Long-Term Relief for Glaucoma Patients
Glaucoma patients have a reason to rejoice thanks to the FDA-approved minimally invasive surgical procedure known as iStent. iStent, the smallest medical device ever, is placed in the eye during cataract surgery, saving people time and money; and most importantly, their sight. The device is so small that patients don’t feel it or even know it is there after surgery. iStent can effectively lower eye pressure by improving the outflow of fluid from the eyes.
Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness and affecting over 3 million people, is defined as the buildup of pressure behind the eye due to not enough production and outflow of fluid. The result is damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma has very few symptoms; many people do not know they are living with it and it often progresses if undetected, causing irreversible damage.
In the past, treatments for glaucoma consisted of several medications and drops that had to be administered twice a day. The treatments slowed the production of fluid but patients had to remember to take their medication and use their drops every day. Thanks to this advancement for glaucoma patients, medications and drops may no longer be necessary.
“The iStent facilitates the outflow of the fluid to the meshwork to help lower the pressure,” said Dr. Anthony Evangelista. “About 70% of patients can reduce or even eliminate the need for eye drops.”
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When Jackie Potter started to notice significant eye pain, Dr. Evangelista diagnosed her with glaucoma. Because Jackie was constantly struggling with her eye drops, Dr. Evangelista recommended the iStent. Four months after the surgery, Jackie is off her eye drops and her pressure has dropped from 32 down to 16. “I am very grateful, very thankful that I had this procedure done,” said Potter.
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