Mr Eamonn O’Donoghue
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon and Glaucoma Specialist, University Hospital, Galway
Glaucoma is a serious and progressive eye disease which, left untreated, can lead to blindness. It can be difficult to detect without an eye test as most types of glaucoma have no symptoms.
Glaucoma is most frequently caused by an increase in eye pressure when the fluid produced cannot drain out adequately. Damage to the optic nerve is irreversible, so early diagnosis is crucial. Lowering eye pressure is the most effective way to control glaucoma and the only proven treatment.
What happens after diagnosis?
Once diagnosed, the most common treatment is prescription eye drops, which will help to either reduce fluid production or increase the drainage of fluid from the eye. However, a significant proportion of glaucoma patients may have poor adherence to their eye drops. This can be due to side effects of the medication, complicated dosing requirements or a lack of understanding about the need to continually treat this disease.1
Lowering eye pressure is the most effective way to control glaucoma and the only proven treatment.
Treatment with iStent® inject W, a trabecular micro-bypass surgery, at the same time as cataract surgery has the triple benefit of improving sight — reducing eye pressure and helping the comfort and health of the ocular surface.
Treatment for glaucoma
Trabecular micro-bypass surgery comprises microscopic 0.36mm stents which are implanted into the eye. The surgery is quick, safe and can be performed under needle-less anaesthetic at the same time as cataract surgery or as a separate procedure. It can be a good alternative treatment.
The stents work by helping to restore the eye’s natural fluid outflow which, in turn, reduces eye pressure. An international study has shown that 72% of patients who were treated with this no longer need to take glaucoma medication after 12 months.1
 European Glaucoma Society Terminology and Guidelines for Glaucoma, 4th Edition. British Journal of Ophthalomogy 2017.201