Offering the safest and most effective technology is important to our team at Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut. We believe that all of our patients, including patients diagnosed with glaucoma, deserve leading-edge options to manage their eye conditions with minimal side effects for the highest quality of life. In this post, our team talks about the evolution of glaucoma treatment technology and the exciting advances that are currently available.
Traditional Glaucoma Treatment
For years the first line of defense against glaucoma was the use of medicated eye drops to reduce the amount of fluid produced in the eye or increase the outflow of fluid in an effort to stabilize intraocular pressure. And while eye drops will always be a mainstay of glaucoma therapy, some patients don’t see the desired results (or they experience unpleasant side effects).
Ophthalmologists have also relied on surgical procedures such as trabeculectomy, which involves creating a small opening in the eye wall to help fluid drain into a small reservoir or bleb under the eye’s surface (thereby reducing intraocular pressure). Although trabeculectomy is usually successful, it is not without risk. The procedure can be unpredictable and lead to potential complications.
As an alternative, glaucoma specialists started offering a variation of the procedure called selective laser trabeculoplasty a few decades ago. SLT involves using a laser to create biological changes in the drainage tissue of the eye to improve the outflow of fluid and lower intraocular pressure. SLT has been used in conjunction with prescription eye drops or as an initial glaucoma treatment.
Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery
In recent years, there has been a shift to reduce some of the complications associated with glaucoma surgery and embrace less invasive glaucoma procedures, known as minimally or micro invasive glaucoma surgery. MIGS is a very exciting area of glaucoma treatment that involves the use of microscopic equipment and incisions to safely lower intraocular pressure without some of the risks of traditional surgery.
During MIGS, a tiny device, like a stent, is placed in the eye to enable fluid to drain more easily from the eye, thus reducing the pressure inside the eye. There are several different types of devices that can be selected based on the individual patient’s needs. In many cases, MIGS allows a patient to reduce the number of glaucoma medications he or she takes, thereby improving their quality of life.
Another advantage of MIGS is that it can be easily combined with cataract surgery to improve vision after cataracts and manage glaucoma simultaneously.
Contact Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut
If you would like more information about the glaucoma treatments we offer, please call 203-366-8000 or email our practice today.