A 66-year-old active retiree, Bill loves spending his days playing basketball, tennis, and golf. When he was diagnosed with glaucoma, he became worried that any potential vision loss could impact his ability to play his favorite sports. As someone with a family history of glaucoma, Bill knows firsthand the devastating vision loss that glaucoma can cause if left untreated. So when he also began developing cataracts, his ophthalmologist introduced him to iStent inject® W, one of the world’s smallest implantable devices that can have remarkable benefits for glaucoma patients with cataracts.
A Family History of Glaucoma
Bill was diagnosed with glaucoma 15 years ago at the age of 51. However, the diagnosis didn’t come as a surprise to him, since both his brother and father had the condition. He knew that open-angle glaucoma is hereditary, which means if an immediate family member has glaucoma, there is a much greater risk of developing the condition than the general population. In fact, a family history of glaucoma can increase your risk by four to nine times.
His father lost some vision from glaucoma and his brother had terrible eyesight in one of his eyes from the condition. Because of this, Bill saw how vision loss impacted their quality of life and wanted to do everything he could to preserve his quality of vision. In doing so, Bill managed his glaucoma with eye drops for many years under the direction of his eye doctor.
Finding the Right Glaucoma Doctor and Treatment
Despite continuing to use his eye drops as directed by his physician, Bill wondered what else he could be doing to manage his glaucoma. At the same time, he was also developing cataracts, which impacted his vision while playing sports – he struggled to see his ball when golfing, and he had difficulty returning a serve from his tennis opponent during a match.
Bill decided to find an ophthalmologist that specializes in glaucoma, so he sought out and made an appointment with Dr. Albert Khouri of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. After checking Bill’s eye pressure and running some tests, Dr. Khouri recommended that Bill be treated with iStent inject® W in his right eye during cataract surgery. Bill learned that iStent inject® W is a medical device designed to work continuously and can reduce the number of glaucoma medications needed, at his physician’s discretion. Bill, who was using drops once per day, liked the idea of possibly being able to go off his eye drops entirely.
Before retiring, Bill had been president and CEO of several major companies specializing in cardiovascular and ophthalmic medical devices, so he was familiar with stents and how they work in the human body. With first-hand knowledge of how medical devices can improve people’s quality of life and his trust in Dr. Khouri, Bill knew iStent inject® W was the right treatment for him. His right eye was implanted with the device during cataract surgery in June of 2022. His left eye, which is stable at the moment, is being monitored by Dr. Khouri.
Recognizing the Importance of Early Detection & Treatment
Since the procedure, Bill has been able to eliminate drops in his right eye and can continue playing basketball, tennis, and golf without issue. He is grateful that doctors were able to detect and treat his glaucoma before the quality of his vision and life were negatively impacted. Not only that, but Bill is aware that being diligent, keeping up with eye appointments, and taking medications as prescribed are all key aspects of successfully managing glaucoma.
Glaucoma is known to be the “silent thief” of sight. There are often no symptoms, so glaucoma can go undiagnosed without proper check-ups and can worsen over time. Then, once someone develops symptoms, they cannot be reversed. Bill hopes that sharing his story will help spread awareness of the importance of early detection and treatment to those who are unfamiliar with the condition and its irreversible effects.
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