As a West Point graduate, retired U.S. Army Colonel, and retired FBI Special Agent, John has a long resume of resilience and strength. Early in his U.S. Army career, he was diagnosed with glaucoma during his Officer Commissioning Physical. At the time, he was not prescribed any medication to treat his condition and only wore glasses. He didn’t seek treatment for seven years, and as a result, the optic nerve in his right eye had lost 10-15% of sight.
Angry and frustrated, John knew that without treatment it was likely his vision would continue to affect his career. Finally, in 2021, John underwent cataract surgery and was treated with iStent inject® W in both eyes. Read John’s glaucoma journey below to learn how he found ease after years of discomfort and was able to reduce his prescribed number of glaucoma medications.
Fighting His Own Battle
After John’s glaucoma diagnosis in 1987, he went seven years before receiving treatment for his progressive eye disease and simply relied on his glasses. During that time, John served as a U.S Army Colonel and spent time overseas in Iraq. While serving his country, John’s vision was often a concern and it held him back from more rigorous duties. For example, John worried that his glasses would fall off when parachuting from airplanes.
It wasn’t until 1995 when John visited a Manhattan ophthalmologist that he learned he had lost some of his peripheral vision. This was directly related to not treating his glaucoma for many years. Given his career in the U.S military and law enforcement, John was fearful this would limit his duties or even his job. To make matters worse, John was also diagnosed with pigment-dispersion syndrome, a condition where pigment can flake off and float to the back of the eye causing a blockage. This would increase the pressure in his eye, making his glaucoma symptoms even worse. John left the appointment with two eye drop prescriptions that he was required to take twice a day to treat his glaucoma.
Searching For Relief
After a 10-year Active Army career, John became an FBI Agent and National Guardsman. As he got older, John grew more concerned about his eyesight. He struggled to see objects peripherally and had difficulty shooting targets more than 50 meters away. Often, his eyes would grow extremely tired through his long shifts as he was constantly straining them. This was risky for John as he was always in highly stressful situations. He knew his career had the tendency to become dangerous, so he made it a point to frequently monitor the progression of his glaucoma.
In 1997, John was introduced to Dr. Chin of Westwood Ophthalmology Associates. Over the next 24 years, the two developed a close relationship, trying out different medications to monitor and control John’s glaucoma. For years, John was using multiple eye drops, three times a day. With his busy career and family at home, he had to carve out time throughout his day to make sure he was using his eye drops appropriately. Dr. Chin stressed the importance of observing John’s glaucoma as it could lead to blindness if left untreated, and John’s eyesight was non-negotiable especially if he wanted to keep his career. It wasn’t until 2021 that Dr. Chin felt John needed to get cataract surgery. During that time Dr. Chin also informed John about iStent inject® W, which is one of the smallest medical implants known to be implanted in the human body and can effectively lower intraocular pressure, one of the most important risk factors for glaucoma.
Finally At Ease
Not wanting to wait to treat his glaucoma, during his cataract surgery, John’s right eye was implanted with iStent inject® W in April of 2021 and his left eye in May of 2021. Since the procedure, John has been able to reduce his eye drops from three different medications multiple times a day, to just one medication once a day. While he understands the implant won’t reverse his vision issues, he finds relief knowing the procedure will prevent it from worsening. Without having to worry about his vision, John is now looking forward to traveling more and planning family vacations to Hawaii, Australia, and Europe to see the Northern Lights.
Find a Glaucoma Specialist Near You
Search our physician locator to find a specialist near you who is familiar with treating glaucoma.
The results described on this site are based on data collected regarding short- and intermediate-term efficacy of treatment. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.
PM-US-0905 Rev 2