Treatment of Glaucoma

Treatment of Glaucoma

Glaucoma TreatmentToday, there are three main methods of treating Glaucoma: Medical Treatment of Glaucoma, Laser Treatment of Glaucoma and Surgical Treatment of Glaucoma.

These treatment options for controlling Glaucoma are quite important, as Glaucoma has no cure. The good news is that in almost all cases, Glaucoma is treatable, but must be diagnosed as early as possible. Thanks to advances in Medical Treatment for Glaucoma, Laser Treatment for Glaucoma and Surgery for Glaucoma, Dr. Whitaker will be able to recommend an individual treatment plan that is best for you.

The following information is limited to treatment of Primary Open Angle Glaucoma, as it is the most common type of Glaucoma. Primary Open Angle Glaucoma is treated by the three different approaches above depending on the severity of the disease and the ability of each treatment option to slow or halt the disease progression and preserve your vision.

Medical Treatment of Glaucoma

Primary Open Angle Glaucoma is most often treated with eye drops. There are many types of eye drops that can be prescribed to lower your Intraocular Pressure (IOP). By using a single type of medication or sometimes 2 eye drops in combination, more than 80% of the patients with Open Angle Glaucoma can be successfully treated. These eye drops work by either decreasing the amount of fluid being produced inside your eye or by increasing the rate of drainage of fluid from your eye. For most patients, by using the eye drops as prescribed-1-2 times per day it is possible to control the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) and slow or even halt the loss of vision.

Unfortunately, some patients may experience side effects of these eye drops making the use of eye drops a poor treatment option. Also, some patients are unable to achieve adequate control with eye drops alone and require Laser Treatment for Glaucoma in addition to the eye drops in order to maintain control.

Laser Treatment of Glaucoma

The use of Laser Treatment for Glaucoma has become an important treatment option for many patients. In the past, Laser Eye Surgery for Glaucoma was considered a “last resort” before Glaucoma Surgery. Today, thanks to advances in lasers, using a laser treatment for Glaucoma in conjunction with the eye drop treatment or sometimes even using the Laser Treatment as the primary treatment, are excellent options to help maintain control and slow or stop the progression of the disease. Laser Treatment for Glaucoma is widely used to help prevent vision loss and is becoming a Glaucoma treatment of choice for many patients who have problems with eye drops or are unable to use eye drops properly.

Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT) is a type of glaucoma laser treatment that helps to reduce the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) by creating more effective drainage of fluid through the Trabecular Meshwork. Unfortunately, for some patients, the effect of ALT decreases over time, rendering it ineffective. This is limiting, as ALT cannot usually be repeated.

Another type of Laser Treatment for Glaucoma is called Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT). SLT may offer advantages over ALT for some patients in that should the effect decrease over time, SLT can be repeated several times in order to control the pressure and slow or halt the progression of the disease. SLT has promise in becoming an important treatment option not only for Glaucoma patients who are unable to use eye drops and obtain control, but as a primary treatment to help Glaucoma patients avoid needing to use eye drops altogether.

Dr. Whitaker routinely performs all types of Laser Eye Surgery for Glaucoma. If Laser Treatment is the best option to help you control your Glaucoma, he will spend the time necessary to explain the risks and benefits so that you fully understand your treatment options.

Surgical Treatment of Glaucoma

For a small number of patients, even with the maximum medical therapy they can achieve with Glaucoma eye drops and Laser Eye Surgery, it is still not possible to achieve good stable control of their disease and stop the progression of vision loss.

For these patients there are surgical procedures available to help achieve control of the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) and may help to slow or stop the progression of the disease. These include removing a tiny piece of the Trabecular Meshwork, a surgical procedure called “Trabeculectomy”, “Sclerostomy” or “Filtering Procedure”, or even implanting a microscopic Glaucoma Valve to help reduce and stabilize the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) and prevent vision loss.

Glaucoma is a very complex eye disease, and not simply an elevated Intraocular Pressure (IOP). Nonetheless, when detected early it can be successfully treated. Dr. Whitaker and the staff of Riverside Eye Center provide the full scope of advanced technology diagnostic testing and treatment, as well as taking the time necessary to give each patient the personal education needed to fully understand their condition.

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Have you or a loved one recently received a glaucoma diagnosis? If you don’t want touse eye drops to control your eye pressure levels every day, a new treatment optioncalled Durysta may be something to consider.

The eye doctors at Riverside Eye Center in Lewiston are excited to be able to offer thisrevolutionary new glaucoma treatment to our patients!

What is Durysta?

Durysta is a new kind of medication for patients with open-angle glaucoma and highocular pressure. It is a dissolvable implant used to treat open-angle glaucoma and higheye pressure.

Durysta is unique because it can replace the many daily doses of glaucomamedications with a one-time implant that lasts for several months. Many patients evenshow lower intraocular pressure levels after the implant dissolves.

How Does Durysta Work?

Durysta is implanted into the eye and dissolves over the course of several months. Asthe Durysta implant dissolves, it releases a consistent dose of a medication calledbimatoprost.

Bimatoprost lowers intraocular pressure, also known as IOP. Lowering IOP relieves theconditions caused by high eye pressure such as open-angle glaucoma and eye pain.

One dose of Durysta lasts for several months, with most patients experiencing relieffrom high eye pressure for at least 15 weeks, and many for up to a year.

How is Durysta Implanted into the Eye?

The Durysta implant is administered through a sterile, single-use, applicator. Eachapplicator has one dose of the Durysta implant.

A separate single-use applicator implants the medication in each eye.

Where is Durysta Implanted in the Eye?

Durysta is implanted into the anterior chamber of your eye. This is the chamber locatedbetween the cornea and the iris.
Implanting Durysta into the anterior chamber allows for the bimatoprost medication tobe applied to the tissues of the blocked drainage angle. The blocked drainage angle iswhat causes open-angle glaucoma.

After implanting the bimatoprost medication, it is then administered to the anteriorchamber tissue over the course of several months.

Can Anyone Get Durysta?

You should not get Durysta if you have any of the following conditions:

  • An infection in or around your eye
  • Cornea complications that inhibit its ability to function normally
  • A cornea transplant or cell transplant in the inner cornea layer
  • Damage to or a missing posterior lens capsule
  • Allergic reaction to any active ingredients in Duryst

Who Should Get Durysta?

You should consider Durysta if you have open-angle glaucoma or high eye pressure. It’sespecially worth considering if you’re unable to keep up with daily eye drops forglaucoma management.

How Often Do I Need to Get Durysta?

Durysta is only implanted into each eye once. The implant lasts at least 3 – 4 months oraround 15 weeks, and up to a year.

You should only get one implant in each eye. You should not have Durysta implanted inyour eye more than once.

Are There Any Side Effects of Durysta?

Durysta does have side effects, though most of them are minor. The most common sideeffect of Durysta is having red eyes. Other side effects include:

  • Feeling like something is in your eye
  • Eye pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blood spot cumulation on the white of the eye
  • Dry, itchy, or irritated eyes
  • An increase in eye pressure (talk to your eye doctor immediately if you experience anincrease in eye pressure, as Durysta is designed to decrease pressure)
  • Blurred vision
  • Iris inflammation
  • Headache

If you experience red eyes, light sensitivity, eye pain, or changes in your vision, contactyour ophthalmologist immediately.

If you struggle to take glaucoma medications daily and need to lower your intraocularlevels, Durysta may be right for you! Schedule an appointment at Riverside Eye Centerin Lewiston, ME to learn more about this glaucoma treatment and to find out if it could bea good fit for you!