New tool an eyeopening advancement in treating glaucoma

first_imgA snorkel-shaped device no bigger than a flea is the latest technology offering relief to Clark County residents with glaucoma.The titanium device is only 1 millimeter long and one-third millimeter tall, but it has the potential to make a big difference in the lives of people with mild to moderate glaucoma.The device offers an alternative to traditional methods of treating glaucoma, an alternative more advanced than medicated eyedrops but less intensive than surgery, said Dr. Silvio Gurdian, an eye surgeon for 15 years.Gurdian has implanted the device, called the iStent, in two area residents since beginning to offer the procedure earlier this summer at the Vancouver Eye Care ambulatory eye center. He hopes the procedure will help to prevent the riskier surgeries required for advanced glaucoma.“Surgical advances in glaucoma have been challenging and slow to be adopted by eye surgeons due to complexity, cost and high risk of complications,” he said. “Therefore, many patients with glaucoma remain undertreated.”Glaucoma affects millions of people and is one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S., according to the Mayo Clinic.Glaucoma is not a single eye disease but rather a group of eye conditions causing optic nerve damage that can result in vision loss. Most often, the damage is caused by abnormally high pressure in the eye, according to Mayo Clinic.last_img