Developing one eye condition that threatens your sight is bad enough, but what happens when you develop two eye diseases that can cause blindness? Treatment for glaucoma is frequent and expensive, and options can seem limited. This is often the case for patients who suffer from glaucoma as well as cataracts.
While cataracts can be removed surgically to restore vision, there is no cure for glaucoma. This chronic eye condition affects over 4 million Americans and can develop with virtually no warning signs. Doctors and research teams devote countless hours to developing new devices and procedures that can help patients who suffer from glaucoma. Vision loss from glaucoma cannot be recovered, so the goal is to keep eye pressure within a safe range to prevent further eye damage.
Thanks to recent technological advancements, there is good news for patients who have both cataracts and glaucoma. Certain individuals may be candidates for a procedure called micro-incisional and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS). This surgical procedure to treat open-angle glaucoma can be done in conjunction with cataract surgery to help lower intraocular pressure (IOP).
MIGS involves the insertion of a stent into the trabecular meshwork of the eye to allow intraocular fluid to flow more freely. Obstruction in the trabecular meshwork is what causes the buildup of fluid and increased eye pressure that characterizes glaucoma.
- There are many benefits of MIGS:
- It is a low-risk procedure for the patient and surgeon.
- It is cost-effective for patients, surgery centers and surgeons.
- The same surgeon can perform MIGS and cataract surgery.
- Many patients can discontinue medicated eye drops after MIGS.
- New technologies like iStent are shortening the learning curve for cataract surgeons who seek to offer MIGS to their patients.
Are you suffering from cataracts and glaucoma? MIGS may not be right for everyone, but it may be right for you. Talk to your eye doctor about whether you would be a good candidate for MIGS. It might be one of the most important conversations you ever have (Source: Healio).