As a family counselor and minister, Michael has spent the majority of his life putting the needs of others first. However, when he noticed changes to his vision he knew it was time to make his health a priority. Michael first noticed changes to his vision eight years ago when he began seeing black spots while driving. He visited a local ophthalmologist, who decided to run some tests. Shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with glaucoma and cataracts. This ultimately led to another health discovery – Michael had diabetes.
Overwhelmed by both diagnoses, Michael was concerned about his health. It was then that Michael decided it was time for a change. He put his busy life on hold and sought treatment for his deteriorating vision.
Fearing The Worst
Prior to visiting his ophthalmologist, Michael figured his change in vision was a result of an astigmatism. During his appointment, he learned his vision was almost to the point of blindness. Once he heard that, he knew he had to take action. As an avid reader, hunter, farmer, and family man, Michael didn’t want his deteriorating vision to disrupt his day-to-day life. After receiving the glaucoma diagnosis, his ophthalmologist recommended that he get tested for diabetes, and soon thereafter he learned of this diagnosis as well.
At the recommendation of his specialist, Michael began taking daily eye drops to reduce the pressure in his eyes and continued to see his doctor periodically. Despite regular checkups and taking his drops as prescribed, Michael learned that his glaucoma was progressing. He soon found himself referred to Dr. Omar Shoukfeh of West Texas Eye Associates for further treatment.
Restoring Quality Of Life
After meeting with Dr. Shoukfeh and running a few tests, it was confirmed that Michael’s glaucoma and cataracts were worsening. At this time, Dr. Shoukfeh introduced Michael to the iStent inject® W as a possible treatment option. iStent inject® W is one of the smallest medical devices to be implanted in the human body and is an effective way to reduce eye pressure. Dr. Shoukeff explained that glaucoma patients who also have cataracts are eligible for iStent inject® W at the same time as cataract surgery. He also said that once vision is lost completely due to glaucoma, it cannot be restored; thus Michael needed to undergo the procedure as quickly as possible.
Determined to preserve his eyesight, Michael scheduled his procedures for August of 2021. Just as Dr. Shoukfehf had assured him, his recovery was quick, and he was able to remove his post-surgery eye patches after just a few days. Michael was also prescribed eye drops to take five times a day for a few weeks.
A Worry-Free Future
Since recovering from the procedures, Michael only uses moisturizing eye drops at night before bed. More importantly, Michael is extremely thankful he took the necessary steps to ensure his glaucoma did not worsen.
Now, Michael says he is “semi-retired” but is finding the time to participate in every aspect of his family’s activities, which includes keeping up with his six grandchildren! Michael shared that after receiving iStent inject® W, he no longer has to think about potentially going blind – “I thought about what I was going to miss. I didn’t want that.”