The Wichita Vision Institute is a vision correction facility in Kansas. Dr. Reena Patel, a board-certified ophthalmologist, is both its founder and chief surgeon. Wichita Vision Institute provides a variety of treatments for conditions like the following:
- Dry eye syndrome
- Macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause blindness by damaging the optic nerve. It affects over three million people in the US every year and is thus the second most common cause of blindness. Glaucoma is particularly common in people who are more than 60 years old.
The eye produces a clear fluid called the aqueous humor that gives the eye its shape and nourishes the lens and cornea. Under normal conditions, the humor flows in and out of the eye in roughly equal amounts. In a person with glaucoma, a blockage prevents the aqueous humor from flowing out, so it accumulates within the eye and puts increasing pressure on the optic nerve. Ultimately, it damages the optic nerve and causes vision loss.
How is glaucoma treated?
There are many different options for glaucoma treatments because there are several different types of glaucoma and the disease ranges in severity. While none of the treatments can restore lost vision, they can prevent the patient from losing any more eyesight. If the patient’s symptoms are mild, Dr. Patel may start with medication or eyedrops to lessen the pressure in the patient’s eyes.
What is iStent surgery?
An iStent is a type of tiny implant that the doctor places within the eye. It bypasses the blockage and permits the aqueous humor to drain out normally and thus reduces the pressure on the optic nerve. The patient will not feel or see the implant once it is in place.
The implantation surgery is an outpatient procedure, and Dr. Patel will administer a local anesthetic to keep the patient comfortable. After the surgery, the patient will often be given anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops. They will probably have to visit their ophthalmologist the following day, so they can check their progress. The patient will usually have to take a few days off from work to recover. They should also avoid strenuous activities like heavy lifting or playing sports that might cause their eye pressure to increase.
On laser surgery
Depending on the type of glaucoma, different types of laser surgery may be offered. If the patient has open-angle glaucoma, the most common type, they may be a candidate for selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), in which the laser stimulates the body’s healing response to lower the pressure within the eye. The procedure takes only ten minutes, and the patient will need only numbing eye drops. The full results of the procedure, however, take several weeks or months to develop.
Laser peripheral iridotomy is a procedure used on patients who develop closed-angle glaucoma. In this condition, the iris has dropped over the angle and is completely blocking it. Dr. Patel uses a laser to basically drill a tiny hole in the patient’s iris to create a new drainage pathway that relieves pressure and causes the iris to return to its normal position.
The procedure takes only a few minutes, and Dr. Patel will give the patient numbing eye drops beforehand. After the procedure, Dr. Patel will monitor the patient’s intraocular pressure for a time.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss glaucoma treatment with Dr. Patel at Wichita Vision Institute, proudly serving the Wichita, KS, area.