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Glaucoma in Houston, TX

Early diagnosis of glaucoma can save your vision. At Eye Excellence, located in Houston and serving Missouri City and the surrounding areas of Texas, every case of glaucoma is treated on an individual basis.

Breakthrough for Treating Open-Angle Glaucoma During Cataract Surgery in Houston

When it comes to eye care, technology has always played a key role. In the past 10 years, cataract surgery has advanced tremendously with developments, such as the premium intraocular lens implant, which has helped many patients reduce the need for glasses after undergoing cataract surgery. Eye Excellence now has a new tool for taking care of cataracts and mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma (OAG) at the same time: the iStent® Trabecular Micro-Bypass (from Glaukos Corporation).

Having received FDA approval, the iStent® is not only the only implant approved for mild to moderate OAG, but it is also the smallest implant ever approved by the FDA. The device measures only one millimeter in length but is highly efficient in increasing the outflow of fluid. The device allows for safely lowering eye pressure by creating a trabecular micro-bypass into Schlemm´s canal. iStent® is implanted during cataract surgery to treat adults already being treated with a daily regimen of annoying glaucoma eye drops. With iStent®, intraocular pressures are reduced and it has the potential to reduce or even eliminate the reliance on glaucoma eyedrops, which is especially beneficial to Open Angle Glaucoma (OAG) patients as they must deal with using two or more types of eye drops every day to control ocular pressure levels.

Studies have shown that more than 90 percent of patients do not comply with their ocular medication dosing regimens and nearly 50 percent discontinue taking their medications before six months. Based on recent FDA studies, Dr. Green of Eye Excellence decided to implement the iStent® into her practice. “We insert the iStent® for open-angle glaucoma during cataract surgery, which is nice to take care of two problems with one trip to the operating room,” says Dr. Green.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an optic nerve disease that affects the part of the eye that sends images to the brain. Glaucoma is often associated with high pressure in the eye because of an impaired drainage system. Also known as the “silent thief of sight”, glaucoma earned this nickname because early symptoms often go undetected. It is extremely common, affecting over four million Americans, yet only half of them are aware they have the disease. It is a gradually intensifying disease, but it can be tracked and controlled by your ophthalmologist if caught early enough in the process. It’s important to be checked early and regularly, as time is of the essence when dealing with glaucoma and it can lead to blindness. However, if caught early, it is a very manageable and easily treated disease.

How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?

Glaucoma can be detected using several methods. Your ophthalmologist will be able to detect and monitor any optic nerve damage over the course of several months and from there he or she can recommend the best course of treatment if diagnosed. Modern technology allows for precise measurements to be taken of the optic nerve, down to microscopic changes experienced. This can be done by using ocular coherence tomography (OCT). Using tonometry, pressure measurements can be taken of the eye, and other tests include an eye drainage angle inspection (gonioscopy) and a peripheral vision test (perimetry).

Who Is at Risk for Glaucoma?

Did you know that glaucoma is estimated to affect one in every 50 adults? On top of affecting four million Americans, it is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. It can occur at any age, but after 35, the risk sharply goes up. Other variables include:

  • A family history of glaucoma.
  • African or Spanish-American ancestry.
  • Farsightedness or nearsightedness.
  • Past eye injuries.
  • Thinner central corneal thickness.
  • Systemic health problems, including diabetes, migraine headaches, and poor circulation.

Precaution is the key. You may not be showing symptoms but could have or be susceptible to the disease, so it’s important to schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist.

Vision loss can be prevented through regular eye exams. If detected early enough, glaucoma can be treated and held at bay. It is recommended that people between:

  • The ages of 20 and 29 are tested at least once during this period, African-Americans every three to five years.
  • The ages of 30 and 39 are tested twice, African-Americans every two to four years.
  • The ages of 40 and 64 are tested every two to four years.
  • Ages 65 or older are tested every one to two years.

Prevention and proper treatment are all about early detection.

Glaucoma Treatment

Several treatment options exist, with the most common using eyedrops to lower the intraocular eye pressure. Oral medication is also available, as well as utilizing laser eye surgery. This can help treat the drainage problem involved with open-angle glaucoma. For closed-angle glaucoma, the laser creates a hole in the iris, which helps to improve the flow of fluid. Both of these procedures can be performed at an outpatient surgery center. More advanced surgery using drainage channels and drainage implants is available as well. Your ophthalmologist will guide you toward the right option for you.

How Much Does Glaucoma Treatment Cost in Houston?

  • Even if your insurance plan doesn’t cover vision correction, you can use cash, a credit card, or approved financing for payment.
  • Choose from no-interest plans, extended payment options up to 48 months and no down payment.

Please visit our financing page for more information.

At Eye Excellence, located in Houston and serving Missouri City and the surrounding areas of Texas, each case of glaucoma is treated on an individual basis by Dr. Green, who can discuss every available treatment option with you to determine what works best for you and your diagnosis. Contact us today.

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