Glaucoma is called the “silent thief” because damage is painless, gradual, and almost always presents zero symptoms. It can slowly steal your eyesight without your even realizing that anything is wrong. Glaucoma is one of the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in the United States. A simple painless eye exam can detect the disease. With early detection and treatment, glaucoma can usually be controlled and blindness prevented.
Glaucoma can affect anyone from newborn infants to the elderly. It has been estimated that up to 3 million Americans have glaucoma. At least half of those people do not know they have it because glaucoma usually has no symptoms. People who are at a greater risk for glaucoma usually have the following conditions:
The technology advancements in the treatment of Glaucoma have provided relief to many patients suffering from intraocular pressure. The iStent is a tiny titanium tube (only 1 millimeter in length) which is carefully inserted into to the eye during a surgical procedure. The iStent works by helping to improve the eye’s fluid outflow, thus reducing eye pressure.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is an advanced laser system that targets specific cells of the eye — those containing melanin, a natural pigment. Using a special wavelength and energy, the SLT targets these specific cells in the trabecular meshwork (outflow barrier inside your eye), leaving the surrounding tissue intact, and improves the flow of fluid in the eye, thereby lowering your eye pressure. Your eye pressure may drop as quickly as a day or more after having the SLT procedure. You may be treated with anti-inflammatory eye drops that will be continued after the procedure. There are no incidences of allergy or systemic side effects with SLT. The SLT treatment does not cause pain. The SLT procedure is reimbursed by Medicare and many other insurance providers, which minimizes your out-of-pocket expenses.
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