Some innovative glaucoma treatments are making a big impact in the world of eye surgery. The CyPass Micro-Stent and the Xen Gel Stent are two minimally-invasive procedures that can help considerably reduce intraocular pressure and stave off or slow the damage from glaucoma.
The dangers of glaucoma
Glaucoma refers to several distinct eye diseases that occur when pressure builds up and causes damage to the optic nerves. Glaucoma can affect anyone, but people with a family history of the disease, and those who have had previous eye injuries, are at very high risk. Many patients progress through the early stages of the disease without experiencing any symptoms at all.
The effects of glaucoma may not at first have any symptoms, but once the damage has occurred there is no way to reverse it and may eventually lead to irreversible blindness. That’s why eye health professionals are very concerned with diagnosing glaucoma in patients as early as possible, so the widest array of treatment options will be available.
Traditional glaucoma treatments
In most situations, treating glaucoma with eye drops has been the primary choice for physicians. If the disease was caught early enough, consistent treatment with drops was often effective in preventing additional nerve damage from occurring.
Surgical solutions have often been treated as a recourse when other treatment options haven’t delivered results. Glaucoma surgery initially starts with a procedure known as laser trabeculoplasty. This procedure involves modifying the natural drainage system of the eye to improve outflow, or incision procedures to create a new outflow system for the eye.
Developing new surgical procedures
Recently, however, surgeons have been making advancements in new surgical procedures that can be used to treat glaucoma with a high rate of success. One is the CyPass Micro-Stent, which is minimally invasive and has a diameter of only 430 micrometers and a length of 6.35 mm. It is inserted during cataract surgery, creates a new outflow in the supraciliary space, and has been shown to reduce intraocular pressure by up to 72.5% of eyes treated with CyPass® Micro-Stent achieved ≥20% reduction in IOP vs 58.0% with cataract surgery alone (primary endpoint).
Another option which has been gaining popularity with glaucoma surgeons is the Xen Gel Stent. This device is a permanent implant that moves fluid from the front chamber inside the eyes where it can build up and cause dangerous pressure to outside of the eye under the skin around the eye. The Xen Gel Stent can be inserted by a tiny incision, limiting the trauma to the surrounding tissue and a has a limited heart
Staying ahead of glaucoma
Foreknowledge is key when it comes to glaucoma treatment. The sooner your doctor can make a diagnosis, the greater the chance that they may be able to begin one of these innovative treatment options and minimize the nerve damage caused by the disease.
If you are currently living with glaucoma and are interested in pursuing new treatment options, or if you fall into a high-risk group for the disease, schedule an appointment with an eye care professional at Florida Eye Specialists. Our doctors have decades of experience with a wide variety of both cutting-edge and traditional glaucoma treatments, and are dedicated to helping their patients improve their eye health.