Despite wearing eyeglasses without issue since she was a child, Deborah became worried when she noticed changes in her vision 13 years ago. After making an appointment with her eye doctor, Deborah soon received a shocking diagnosis. She was in danger of losing her vision due to glaucoma. The 59-year-old teacher knew that if her condition was left untreated, she could end up like her mother and grandmother and lose her vision.
A Family History of Glaucoma
Deborah relies on her ability to drive in order to get to and from work as a developmental reading instructor at a community college. So when she noticed that it became difficult for her to see while driving at night or in the rain, Deborah started to worry about her vision. In her mid-to-late-40s at the time, Deborah had to stop driving at night completely, as it was too difficult for her to see. She also noticed that she struggled to enjoy one of her favorite pastimes – reading. Since she could no longer make out the words clearly, Deborah had to enlarge the text in order to read.
With her vision continuing to decline, Deborah visited her eye doctor in search of answers. In an effort to treat her vision issues, she underwent Lasik in her left eye, which helped only temporarily. Soon after, in 2007, Deborah was diagnosed by her optometrist with glaucoma in both eyes, a condition that is caused by increased pressure in the eye due to an imbalance in production and outflow of ocular fluid. Deborah would later learn that she also had cataracts, which eventually began to contribute to her vision issues as well.
Since Deborah’s mother and grandmother both had glaucoma, she was familiar to the condition. Deborah’s mother and grandmother both lost sight due to their glaucoma, so Deborah knew that she needed to learn from her mother’s and grandmother’s experiences and act quickly to prevent any further vision loss. Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease, and the longer it’s left untreated, the greater the possibility of visual impairment. Once vision is lost due to glaucoma, it cannot be regained.
After her diagnosis, Deborah met Dr. Katherine Ochsner, a glaucoma specialist at Ochsner Eye while at an appointment with her mother, who recommended that Deborah make an appointment with her as soon as possible. From then on, Dr. Ochsner monitored Deborah’s glaucoma over the years and put her on nightly eye drops to treat her condition.
Following a New Path
In 2014, Deborah noticed she was experiencing some new symptoms. Since she is also living with diabetes, it was difficult for her to identify if the new symptoms, such as halos and shadows, were related to her diabetes or something else. At an appointment with Dr. Ochsner, Deborah was diagnosed with cataracts in both of her eyes. Dr. Ochsner monitored and treated Deborah’s cataracts and glaucoma with medication for several years. Then, when the iStent inject® W became available in 2020, Dr. Ochsner recommended implanting the iStent inject® W at the same time as her cataract surgery. The iStent inject® W is one of the smallest medical devices known to be implanted in the human body and is designed to reduce pressure in the eye, potentially reducing or eliminating the need for medication, like daily eye drops at the discretion of a physician.
Knowing the importance of timely treatment, Deborah didn’t hesitate to receive the implant. She had her left eye successfully treated with an iStent inject® W on December 2, 2020 during her cataract surgery. Since cataract surgery requires at least two weeks between each eye procedure, Deborah had her right eye treated with an iStent inject® W during her second cataract surgery on December 16, 2020.
With the iStent inject® W implanted in each eye, Deborah looks forward to spending her days reading, driving, and enjoying time with family, without having to rely on medications and constantly worry about her glaucoma.
Speak With a Physician About iStent® Today
Help is right around the corner. Leading ophthalmologists across the country offer iStent technology, including the most recently FDA-approved innovation, the iStent inject® W, for the reduction of eye pressure associated with mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma in patients undergoing cataract surgery. Find out if you are a candidate for iStent inject® W by talking with an iStent inject® W physician in your area today.
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