What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness in the world. It can, however, be effectively treated if caught early. Glaucoma is often referred to as a “silent thief of sight” because even though it is estimated that the disease affects over 4 million Americans, only half of them actually know that they have it. It is a common disease with increased age, although it can sometimes develop in children and young adults. It is typically characterized by abnormally high intraocular pressure that causes damage to the optic nerve and retina creating blind spots in the field of vision.
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Types of Glaucoma
There are two types: open-angle and acute closed-angle glaucoma. Early symptoms of open-angle glaucoma often go undetected because the changes in vision are so gradual, they go unnoticed until significant loss has occurred. Peripheral vision is usually affected first, but later central vision will be affected as well. Headaches and difficulty with night vision may also be noticed. If left untreated the disease will progress to total blindness. Patients experiencing acute closed-angle glaucoma will experience more noticeable symptoms, which can include: severe pain, blurred vision, nausea, and halos around lights. This condition has a sudden onset (acute) and requires quick treatment to prevent permanent damage.
Treatment Options for Glaucoma
Most of the time, glaucoma is detected during a routine eye exam. Unfortunately, the disease cannot be cured and vision loss from glaucoma cannot be reversed. However, with early detection and treatment, this disease can almost always be controlled and vision preserved. This is why regular eye exams are especially important for people over 35, or those in other high-risk groups. Treatment can range from eye drops to surgery, with the goal being to control the intraocular pressure. At Kung Eye Center, we offer the following treatment options for glaucoma:
Endocyclophotocoagulation (ECP) is a laser procedure usually performed at the same time as cataract surgery, which can reduce the eye’s ability to produce excess fluid, thus reducing intraocular pressure or IOP. Since many patients undergoing cataract surgery also have glaucoma, a Kung Eye Center surgeon can also perform ECP at the same time to help reduce IOP. After the cataract has been removed, the surgeon inserts a tiny probe into the eye, through the same micro incision he/she used during your cataract procedure. Next, the surgeon applies laser energy to the ciliary body, which reduces fluid production, thus lowering pressure in the eye to a safe level. ECP is proven to be highly effective in reducing or eliminating the need for continued use of long-term glaucoma medications.
iStent is the smallest medical device ever implanted in the human body and is a good option for patients who have been managing their glaucoma with medication but are now needing cataract surgery. A tiny implant that is inserted during cataract surgery, iStent can lower IOP and reduce your reliance on glaucoma medication.
The iStent works by creating a bypass between the front part of your eye and its natural drainage pathway to increase the flow of fluid. By creating a permanent bypass through the primary blockage site (trabecular meshwork), iStent® is designed to:
- Improve your eye’s natural outflow to safely lower intraocular pressure.
- Work continuously to improve the natural flow of fluid in your eyes.
Kahook Dual Blade® technology is designed to lower eye pressure and can be performed with cataract surgery or as a standalone procedure to restore function to the natural outflow system of the eye. Kahook is quick and virtually painless, requiring no sutures and providing rapid postoperative visual recovery. This procedure can reduce or eliminate the need for glaucoma drops or prevent more intense glaucoma procedures such as a trabeculectomy.
The Xen® Gel Stent
We offer patients with open-angle glaucoma the XEN® Gel Stent, which is designed to lower high eye pressure. This stent is an excellent solution for patients that previously failed laser treatments and/or if eye drop medications were insufficient.
The XEN® Gel Stent is a minimally invasive, permanent procedure that works by draining fluid through a small channel, which in turn lowers eye pressure. The Stent is so small, it’s hardly visible with the human eye, measuring about the size of an eyelash.
This revolutionary step forward in technology can help glaucoma patients avoid surgical procedures such as tube shunts or trabeculotomy. The XEN® Gel Stent is an outpatient procedure that offers patients suffering from glaucoma, a fast recovery time with proven results.
I’ve had cataract surgery for both my eyes by Dr. Kung. It was the most amazing experience I’ve had. Dr. Kung himself is an absolutely brilliant doctor and surgeon. His staff sets the example by which excellence can be measured. The facility is beautiful and spotless and I highly recommend using Kung Eye for any ophthalmology needs. Thank you.
KUNG EYE CENTER IS THE BEST!!! From my first appointment, I experienced EXCELLENT customer service. Each and every employee goes above and beyond to provide an experience that makes a patient feel comfortable enough to stay and never want to leave.
Dr Avi D. Yehudai was the best!! He was very knowledgeable & very professional. I appreciate him explaining everything to me so that I could understand what was going on with my condition. I would definitely recommend him!!!
The OMNI device offers a minimally invasive surgical options for glaucoma patients. This device allows one of our skilled eye surgeons to perform a two-part procedure. During the first part, visco-canaloplasty is performed, which allows the drainage channels in the eye to function better. During the second part, trabeculectomy, a part of the trabecular meshwork is removed, allowing drainage of the Schlemm’s canal. Following treatment, patients will have a quick recovery and great results.
CPC is a treatment option in which a laser is used to alter part of the ciliary body, which is located behind the iris. This treatment is meant to lower pressure in the eye, therefore, helping to control glaucoma symptoms.
This procedure is performed to create new pathways for fluid inside of the eye to be drained. This is usually an outpatient procedure and can help to prevent worsening of vision loss.
Tube-shunt surgery involves the placement of a plastic tube with a silicone drainage pouch into the eye to assist in draining fluid from the eye. This procedure is usually only performed after a trabeculectomy has failed.
To find out more about glaucoma or its treatments, call our Staten Island or East Brunswick, NJ office today and schedule an exam.
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