Approximately 2.7 million Americans have the potentially blinding eye disease glaucoma, but only half are aware of it. Researchers predict that by 2050, this number will rise to as many as 6.3 million. With no noticeable symptoms in its early stages, glaucoma is sometimes called the “silent thief of sight.”
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, which links the eyes to the brain. It is most commonly associated with elevated pressure inside the eye, known as intraocular pressure, or IOP. Left untreated, glaucoma can cause irreversible vision loss.
Though there is no known cure for glaucoma, with early diagnosis and treatment, sight can be preserved. Fortunately, new treatment options for glaucoma provide hope to glaucoma sufferers for slowing the progression of this disease. These include recently developed medications, as well as innovative surgical interventions that studies show to be both safe and effective.
In late 2017, the FDA approved two new medications for patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. In November, the FDA approved Vyzulta for the reduction of IOP, and in December, the FDA also approved Rhopressa.
“These new medications add to the growing array of options available to ophthalmologists for the treatment of glaucoma, both pharmaceutical and surgical,” said Eva Liang, MD, Center For Sight eye surgeon and medical director. While there have been glaucoma eyedrop treatments for some time, they are constantly improving, and at Center For Sight, we offer the most advanced options available on the market.
Glaucoma surgery generally involves procedures that make small changes in the eye to help fluid drain more easily. The FDA has approved several new implantable devices and Center For Sight offers all of them.
“The class of micro-invasive glaucoma surgery devices has changed glaucoma treatment significantly,” said Dr. Liang. “The devices have shifted the treatment paradigm by allowing surgical solutions to the front line, rather than a treatment of last resort.”
These micro-invasive surgeries have dramatically improved patient outcomes for people with mild-to-moderate glaucoma. These new series of stents allow for greater pressure management than with traditional medication options. For some patients, stents are effective enough to remove the need for medication entirely.
With these new options, you have even more choices in the management of your sight. At Center For Sight, we are committed to providing you with all the choices you need to make an informed decision about your eye health. For more information on iStent, check out this article.
You can protect yourself from glaucoma. With regular eye examinations and painless pressure checks, glaucoma can be detected early and treatment administered to save your sight.
If you are suffering from glaucoma and would like to learn more about treatment options, call (702) 724-2020 or click here.