Glaucoma Specialists at Illinois Eye Center (IEC) in Peoria, IL are now using a new, minimally invasive glaucoma therapy called Trabectome® in addition to more traditional glaucoma surgeries. This minimally invasive procedure is designed to decrease pressure within the eye and stabilize vision. Illinois Eye Center is the first practice in Central Illinois to offer this therapy.
Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness, is a disease that causes irreversible damage to the optic nerve. This occurs because the eye produces a clear fluid that does not drain adequately and raises pressure in the eye. The first sign of glaucoma is a loss of peripheral vision that usually goes unnoticed by the patient. Symptoms do not occur until it affects the central vision and is very severe. Unfortunately, vision lost to glaucoma can’t be restored, so treatment aims to reduce eye pressure to prevent further damage and permanent vision loss.
The Trabectome procedure uses a small probe that opens the eye’s drainage system through a tiny incision in the eye’s cornea. It removes a small portion of the eye’s natural drainage system so to encourage functionality. It should be used when eye drops and laser trabeculoplasty fail to reduce pressure and before trabeculectomy is considered. The outpatient procedure requires very little sedation and offers a shorter recovery than traditional glaucoma surgery and Illinois Eye Center doctors have been pleased with the results.
The goal of Trabectome is to prevent further damage within the eye while lowering complications from surgery. Some patients have been able to reduce their use of daily eye drop medications that regulate pressure. Traditionally, ophthalmologists first prescribe eye drops or laser therapy to reduce the eye pressure. This procedure may be a good option if these therapies do not lower eye pressure enough or if the patient has both glaucoma and cataracts.
Nearly 4 million Americans are affected by glaucoma. Risk factors for glaucoma include: a family history of the disease, African or Hispanic ancestry, and diabetes, having had an eye injury or having used any corticosteroid for a prolonged period. Routine eye exams can help identify risk for glaucoma and early signs of the disease.
For more information about Trabectome or other glaucoma treatment options, please call Illinois Eye Center at (309) 243-2400.