Can You Treat Glaucoma and Cataracts at the Same Time?

Aug 27, 2021

Eye Doctor in Baltimore, MD

Glaucoma and cataracts are both eye diseases that are more common in older adults. Cataracts are almost entirely an issue that adults in their sixties and seventies experience.

Although younger people can develop it, glaucoma is more pervasive in older adults, as well.

There is a good chance that you’ll develop cataracts at some point in your life. Cataract surgery is the most common medical procedure in the country because cataracts are so common.

It’s a straightforward procedure that restores vision for cataract patients. You can now also treat glaucoma during cataract surgery if you have mild to moderate primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).

Keep reading to learn more about the iStent inject W device and find out who qualifies for it!

What are Cataracts?

Cataracts are a clouding of the natural lens in your eye. They occur as the proteins in your natural lens break down and clump together.

This clumping causes a milky-white opacity to develop, which interferes with your vision.

Cataracts form as you get older, starting in your forties. But they usually don’t affect your vision until you are in your sixties or older.

Cataract surgery is the only way to treat cataracts. It replaces your foggy lens with a new artificial one called an intraocular lens or IOL, which gives you your vision back.

Your IOL gets inserted through an incision in your cornea. The iStent inject W device gets implanted during cataract surgery through the same incision as your IOL.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma, also called the silent thief of sight, is a degenerative eye disease. It develops slowly and without symptoms over a long period.

As it develops, it produces no symptoms, and most people don’t know they have it. Then after enough time, it suddenly causes severe symptoms and even vision loss.

That’s why it has the nickname the silent thief of sight. It seemingly sneaks up on you and steals your vision.

Glaucoma causes the pressure in your eyes, called intraocular pressure or IOP, to rise. Once IOP gets high enough, it presses on your optic nerve and causes irreparable damage to the nerve.

Your optic nerve sends light signals from your retina to your brain, which interprets the images. If your optic nerve gets damaged, it can no longer send those signals.

That means light never reaches your brain, and you can no longer see. Glaucoma is irreversible and has no known cure.

The only way to prevent total vision loss from glaucoma is with early treatment. That’s why regular visits to your eye doctor are vital.

If they diagnose you with glaucoma, they can slow the progression of the disease. Your eye doctor will help you keep your IOP low to limit the damage to your optic nerve.

Intervention, before vision loss, can maintain your eyesight. The iStent inject W device is one treatment that is effective at keeping your IOP low.

Who is the iStent inject W For?

There are different types of glaucoma, but the most common type is primary open-angle glaucoma or POAG. POAG develops slowly over time, gradually increasing your IOP.

Patients with mild to moderate POAG who also need cataract surgery are ideal candidates for the iStent inject W device. Stents are standard glaucoma treatment devices.

They help keep the drainage networks in your eyes open. Blocked or closed drains in your eyes are the reason your IOP rises.

The iStent inject W can get implanted on its own as a stand-alone treatment for glaucoma. But it can also get implanted during cataract surgery to treat both conditions during one procedure.

Do you have POAG and also need cataract surgery? Schedule an appointment at Levin Eyecare in Bel Air, MD. Find out if you qualify for cataract surgery with the iStent inject W device!


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