It is a complex chronic disease that damages the optic nerve of the eye and leads to gradual vision loss. Heightened intra-ocular pressure (IOP) of the eye can increase the progression of the vision loss, thus treatments involve lowering the IOP.
For decades, the predominant treatment options for glaucoma were eyedrops and invasive surgeries. As with any treatment, there are pros and cons. Topical medications are effective but can be expensive, cause irritations and can be difficult for patients to manage without professional guidance. Surgeries typically involve the use of small blades to enter the eye and either place an implant or create an alternative pathway for the excess fluid causing the heightened IOP
A new option
However, now there is a new alternative to eyedrops and invasive surgeries. This blade-free treatment is called MicroPulse laser therapy. By using a laser, the surgeon can perform a 2- to 3-minute procedure in an office setting or in the operating room as needed, and it can be repeated as needed to lower pressure over time. The procedure delivers repetitive, low-energy laser pulses that can transmit through the white of the eye without an incision.
“Over 110,000 glaucoma patients have been treated with MicroPulse laser therapy worldwide since 2015,” says Dr. Ahad Mahootchi of the Eye Clinic of Florida. “Numerous published studies and clinical experiences in the United States, Europe and Asia over the last several years have demonstrated that it is a safe and effective option to decrease both IOP and the number of topical medications necessary in many glaucoma patients. I regularly treat a wide variety of glaucoma patients with it, and my patients are very happy with the results.”
The procedure with the laser is relatively quick, and the patient is able to return to normal activity within 24 hours. Laser therapy is an effective and gentle procedure for the treatment of glaucoma and is covered by all major insurance carriers.
Adrianne Resek, IRIDEX, [email protected]