If you were recently diagnosed with glaucoma, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed learning about your condition or available treatment options. However, know that you are not alone! An estimated 80 million people worldwide (and 3 million Americans) are living with glaucoma. While you’ve likely been discussing your diagnosis with your doctor, we want to help clarify some of the details.
Glaucoma is caused by increased pressure in the eye due to an imbalance in production and outflow of ocular fluid. Although you may be managing your glaucoma with medication and prescription eye drops, it is important to treat your condition in order to decrease the chance of further vision loss. There is no cure for glaucoma, but that shouldn’t be cause for alarm. There are excellent treatments available to help manage elevated eye pressure caused by glaucoma – including iStent inject® W!
The Importance of Seeking Treatment for Glaucoma
With open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common type of glaucoma, there are often no early symptoms. For this reason, many people living with the condition are unaware they have it. If you do experience symptoms such as blind spots and/or tunnel vision or if you have another reason to suspect you may have glaucoma, including family members with the condition, you should make an appointment with your eye doctor right away.
Early detection is key to slowing the progression of glaucoma. The sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner you will be able to seek treatment. Once glaucoma is detected, treatment should be undergone as soon as possible in order to prevent any further vision loss and to reduce the dependence on prescription eye drops since many people experience dry eye or poor medication adherence.
We know you might feel concerned if you have received a glaucoma diagnosis, but the condition is treatable if detected early! Determining your best glaucoma treatment option begins by talking to your eye care professional who can help you get a clear and specific understanding of your treatment needs. Together, you’ll be able to come up with a plan that is right for you to manage the condition.
If you have been diagnosed with mild-to-moderate glaucoma, there are a few key treatment options that your eye care professional may recommend, including prescription eye drops, laser treatments, and micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS). Treating your glaucoma will help you manage your condition and retain vision so that you can enjoy life’s most precious moments.
What is iStent inject® W?
If you are living with glaucoma and cataracts, your physician might recommend iStent inject® W. The iStent inject® W is one of the smallest medical devices known to be implanted in the human body and can help reduce pressure in the eye that is caused by glaucoma. By reducing pressure in the eye, you may potentially reduce or eliminate the need for glaucoma medication, such as daily eye drops, at the discretion of a physician. Around the world, iStent inject® W has helped numerous people with glaucoma successfully manage their intraocular pressure.
By taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity during cataract surgery, you can help address both of these conditions at the same time.
What to Expect from the iStent inject® W Procedure
It is common to feel nervous before undergoing a medical procedure. If you’re considering iStent inject® W to treat your glaucoma, you may be wondering what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. To help answer your questions, we’re outlining everything you need to know so you can be prepared for your appointments.
Before the Procedure
You should continue to use any prescribed eye drops unless directed otherwise by your eye care professional. Be sure to bring a list of your current medications to your pre-operative appointment and be prepared to answer questions regarding your medical history. Before surgery, your eye surgeon will go over all the medications you’re currently taking.
During the Procedure
The cataract removal and iStent inject® W procedure are usually performed under local anesthesia. After your surgeon removes your cataracts, he or she will implant the iStent inject® W devices. Once implanted, you will not see or feel the devices.
After the Procedure
iStent inject® W is an outpatient procedure, which means you’ll be able to go home the same day as your surgery. After the procedure, you will likely receive antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to use. Your ophthalmologist will probably schedule an appointment to see you the day after your surgery. Recovery time is usually quick, but your doctor may recommend that you take a few days off of work and refrain from strenuous activities. Since cataract surgery requires at least two weeks between each eye procedure, you will need to schedule your surgeries accordingly.
How Has iStent inject® W Helped Others with Glaucoma?
Receiving any type of medical diagnosis may feel overwhelming. It may encourage you to connect with others in the glaucoma community who are dealing with the same thing – from their initial diagnosis to the treatment options they have tried. Below we’re sharing the stories of two people in the Living with Glaucoma community who have shared their experiences living with the condition and receiving iStent inject® W.
George’s Journey: George, a 77-year old African-American retiree with a family history of glaucoma, was worried he would lose his vision when he was diagnosed with the disease. After treating his cataracts and glaucoma with medication for several years, George’s doctor informed him of the availability of iStent inject® W. Not wanting to lose any additional vision and potentially reduce or eliminate his need for medication, George jumped at the opportunity to treat his glaucoma and cataracts and scheduled his appointments in December 2020. With both eyes treated, George feels an immense sense of relief. He feels less stressed and more relaxed in his daily life and is now able to enjoy his favorite activities – reading, writing, and photography. Learn more about George’s Glaucoma Journey here.
Connie’s Journey: A few years ago, Connie noticed her vision was becoming blurry and assumed she needed a stronger glasses prescription. After visiting her eye doctor, she learned she was living with glaucoma and cataracts. Over the next couple of years, Connie’s glaucoma was treated and monitored by her eye doctor. When her vision continued to decline, it was recommended that she be treated with iStent inject® W. Connie’s eyes were treated with iStent inject® W during cataract surgery in December 2020. Not only did the surgery eliminate Connie’s need for daily medication, but it also helped her enjoy her once-favorite activities again, such as spending time with her grandchildren. Read Connie’s full Glaucoma Journey today.
iStent inject® W Can Help!
Although glaucoma can cause vision loss, the condition is treatable! There are treatment options available to prevent further vision loss and reduce the number of glaucoma medications needed, at your physician’s discretion. To learn more, you can read about the experiences of others in the Living with Glaucoma community or visit our website to learn more about available treatment options.
Leading ophthalmologists across the country offer iStent technology, including the most recently FDA-approved iStent inject® W for the treatment of mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma during cataract surgery. Find out if you are a candidate for iStent inject® W by talking with a physician in your area today. You can also follow Living with Glaucoma on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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