This new treatment will help to treat two vision problems in one procedure.

There are several different vision problems that develop as part of the natural aging process, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. As we get older, our chances of developing these types of ailments grow and we may even find that symptoms of several of these vision problems may begin developing at the same time.

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Luckily, a new FDA-approved device looks to combine treatment for cataracts and glaucoma all in one procedure, and EyeCare 20/20 is one of the first practices to begin utilizing this beneficial tool.

The iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent System is a new option that may be considered in the treatment of open-angle glaucoma in patients needing cataract extraction. It’s the first approved device of its kind that is for use in combination with cataract surgery to reduce intraocular pressure inside the eye for adult patients with mild or moderate open-angle glaucoma and a cataract.

Glaucoma, a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve, is one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness, and open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. Now, for patients who are currently being treated with medication to reduce intraocular pressure, the iStent may be the optimum procedure to tackle both vision problems.

“This option may be considered earlier in the disease process than some other types of surgical glaucoma treatments,” said Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Conclusions from the study also found that many of study patients that utilized the iStent also had a target eye pressure much lower than those who had cataract surgery on its own following the procedure:

“The FDA reviewed effectiveness data from a study total of 240 eyes for 239 participants (one participant had both eyes evaluated). The FDA also reviewed the safety data for these and an additional 50 participants. At one year following the procedure, 68 percent of participants with the iStent had the study target pressure of 21 millimeters of mercury or lower without the use of eye pressure-lowering medication, compared to 50 percent of participants who underwent cataract surgery alone.”

 ― FDA.gov Press Release

The use of the iStent is also great news for people with both glaucoma and cataracts because it reduces the need to use eye drops to control eye pressure. Eye drops that are typically used to treat glaucoma and be very expensive to purchase, and even more difficult to administer. However, after using the iStent, less eye drops will needed and some patients may find that they do not need prescription eye drops at all!

EyeCare 20/20 is excited to be introducing this new device into our practice in the near future and help improve our ability to treat patients with both glaucoma and cataracts in a simple way. Let us know what you think about this new procedure and contact EyeCare 20/20 if you have questions about whether or not iStent may be a good treatment for you.

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