A few years ago, Connie noticed her vision was becoming blurry and assumed she needed a stronger prescription for her glasses. After visiting her eye doctor, she learned she was living with glaucoma, a condition caused by increased pressure in the eye due to an imbalance in production and outflow of ocular fluid. Connie knew that her glaucoma, if left untreated, could dramatically impact her vision. Connie values spending time with her family, so she refused to let her glaucoma interfere with the things she loves the most.
Impacting Her Quality of Life
Connie, 68, happily spends her retirement on the beach after working in the Admission’s Office at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington for much of her career. As someone who prefers to stay busy, Connie also likes to spend time with her six grandchildren, work in the yard, and craft.
At her yearly checkup with her eye doctor, Connie reported that she had recently been experiencing vision changes, including blurry vision. Connie was diagnosed with cataracts, which were causing her immediate vision issues, but after determining that the pressure in her eyes was higher than normal, Connie’s eye doctor also diagnosed her with glaucoma. Connie has no family history of glaucoma, but was relieved to receive an early diagnosis, as glaucoma generally has no symptoms until vision is already lost. Wanting to feel prepared, Connie researched glaucoma to gain a better understanding of the disease and the potential risk of vision loss.
Over the next couple of years, Connie’s glaucoma was treated and monitored by her eye doctor. Like many people living with glaucoma, Connie has had to rely on daily medications to help control her condition. Taking medications can be expensive, painful, time-consuming, and interfere with everyday activities. Coupled with progressive vision loss, it can decrease confidence for many people. However, Connie religiously applied drops twice a day, morning and night, in order to manage her glaucoma.
Understanding the Need for Timely Treatment
As her vision continued to decline, Connie’s eye doctor referred her to ophthalmologist Dr. Katherine Ochsner of Ochsner Eye. Dr. Ochsner recommended that Connie be treated with an iStent inject® W during her cataract surgery. The iStent inject® W is one of the smallest medical devices known to be implanted in the human body and can effectively reduce pressure in the eye. Once vision is lost due to glaucoma, it cannot be regained. With this in mind, Connie did not hesitate to be treated with iStent® while undergoing cataract surgery.
Since cataract surgery requires at least two weeks between each eye procedure, Connie would need to be treated on two separate occasions. On December 2, 2020, her right eye was successfully treated with iStent inject® W at the same time as her cataract surgery. Connie’s second treatment was on December 16, 2020, when her left eye was treated with iStent inject® W during her cataract surgery. In Connie’s case, this treatment eliminated the need for medication to treat her glaucoma.
With iStent inject® W stents in place in both eyes and her glaucoma under control, Connie is happy to be back to enjoying her favorite activities. She is looking forward to taking her grandchildren on outings and visiting family out of town, all without worrying about potential vision loss.