George worried that he would lose his vision when he was diagnosed with glaucoma, a condition that is caused by increased pressure in the eye due to an imbalance in production and outflow of ocular fluid. He began wearing glasses in elementary school, so he has been fearful of losing his vision for as long as he can remember. As a 77-year old African-American retiree with a family history of the disease, George knew his fears could end up a reality if his condition was not treated.
A Higher Risk for Glaucoma
George knew that if an immediate family member has glaucoma, there is a much greater risk of developing the condition than the general population. He also knew that since he is African-American, the likelihood of developing glaucoma is 6-8 times more common. For those reasons, when George was diagnosed with glaucoma in both of his eyes 15 years ago, he was not surprised.
Although George was not devastated by his diagnosis, he was worried. He had seen the effect glaucoma had on his father, who lost his vision in one eye due to the disease, and he was concerned about his own vision. He also suffered from cataracts, which impacted his ability to read, write, and practice photography. George was relieved to know what was going on, but he still felt nervous about his overall eye health.
Advancements in Treatment
Upon moving to North Carolina, George was referred to Dr. Katherine Ochsner of Ochsner Eye. Dr. Ochsner treated and monitored George’s cataracts and glaucoma with medication for several years, and when the iStent inject® W became available in 2020, she recommended George receive this implant at the same time as his cataract surgery. The iStent is one of the smallest medical devices known to be implanted in the human body and can help reduce pressure in the eye, potentially reducing or eliminating the need for medication, like daily eye drops at the discretion of a physician. George was impressed to learn there had been such major advancements in glaucoma since his father had first been diagnosed.
Since glaucoma is a progressive eye disease, the longer someone waits to seek treatment, the greater the possibility of visual impairment. Once vision is lost due to glaucoma, it cannot be recovered. Knowing this, George jumped at the opportunity to treat his glaucoma and cataracts with the latest treatment innovations. He had his right eye successfully treated with an iStent inject® W on December 2, 2020 at the same time as his cataract surgery. Since cataract surgery requires at least two weeks between each eye procedure, George had his second cataract surgery on his left eye on December 16, 2020, and received his second iStent inject® W at that time as well.
With iStent inject® W stents in each eye, George feels an immense sense of relief. He feels less stress and more relaxed in his daily life and is now able to enjoy his favorite activities – reading, writing, and photography.