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Intraocular pressure (IOP) is one of the most important risk factors for glaucoma. There are several treatment options available to regulate the pressure, including medicated eye drops or the iStent® that is inserted during cataract surgery.

For Eye Surgeons patient, Allen, both options have been put to use. Allen explains, “My mother had glaucoma and lost a lot of her peripheral vision because she didn’t get treatment soon enough. I’ve been getting regular exams since I turned 40 and also developed glaucoma. With drops, I was able to keep my pressure steady. But with sensitive eyes, I had to be shown how to properly use the drops. It was a hassle and expensive using drops, but I was happy with the results (my pressure went from 30 to about 21) and stuck with it.”

As cataracts developed in Allen’s eyes, surgery to replace his natural lenses was discussed. Dr. Wagle explained that during Allen’s cataract surgery, a stent could be implanted that would reduce the pressure and possibly reduce the need for drops. After discussing the risks and benefits of the two procedures, Allen decided to move forward with the procedures.

“I didn’t feel the stent being placed during surgery and can’t feel it now,” explained Allen. “My pressures have been 18-19 and I no longer have to put the eye drops in.” An iStent® works like a heart stent, it creates a permanent opening through the blockage to improve the eye’s natural outflow, while lowering and controlling pressure within the eye.

With the i-Stent®, there is a 70% chance patients can go off one of their drops, if they are on multiple. If they are only on one drop, then it could result in no drops. This saves the patient money and the hassle of remembering to use them every day. It may also reduce or eliminate local eye side effects such as iris color change, periorbital darkening and skin atrophy, dry eye, burning and stinging, and hyperemia, to systemic side effects like dry mouth, metallic taste, drowsiness, shortness of breath, exacerbation of asthma or congestive heart failure.

The material contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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