Tiny device offers big relief to some glaucoma patients with cataracts

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iStent photos

A device smaller than the year stamped on a U.S. penny could help patients suffering from glaucoma, an eye disease typically characterized by elevated pressure in the eye, when they have cataracts.

The eye’s natural drainage system becomes clogged over time in patients with glaucoma.  The iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent creates a permanent opening to improve the eye’s natural outflow and reduce pressure within the eye.  Eye pressure is the primary cause of open-angle glaucoma.

Traditional eye drops used by glaucoma patients can be expensive.  Studies have shown most patients don’t comply with dosing schedules for eye medication and about half stop taking those medicines within six months.  That can be a problem, because when pressure in the eye is out of control, it can increase the risk for permanent vision loss.

With the iStent, some patients don’t need eye drops at all.

The iStent is the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA, and it is so small you cannot see or feel it after it is put in place in the eye.   The iStent is approved for use in conjunction with cataract surgery in adults with mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma.

For more information about the iStent and doctors with Eye Surgeons Associates who can implant the iStent, click here.

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