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3-D Eye Online - Glaucoma


Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Two out of every 100 people over the age of 35 have their vision threatened by this disease. When diagnosed early, blindness from glaucoma is almost always preventable.

Glaucoma is caused by elevation of pressure inside the eye that can damage the optic nerve. This usually occurs because the drainage system of the eye becomes blocked and the fluid pressure in the eye increases. There are several reasons for this blockage, which can be determined by an ophthalmologist.

There are several types of glaucoma and some can steal vision so quietly that a patient is unaware of trouble until the optic nerve is badly damaged. Glaucoma can also have symptoms of blurred vision, severe pain, halos around lights, nausea and vomiting. This type of glaucoma can result in blindness within a day or two and a patient should seek medical attention immediately.

People at high risk of having glaucoma are those with diabetes and people who have a family history of the disease. However, anyone can develop glaucoma, especially as we age. Glaucoma is usually treated with eye drops and laser or surgical treatment if drops do not control the disease.


Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness.  It is a disease associated with increased fluid pressure in the eye.   Dr. Thomas J. Clinch, ophthalmologist at Kearney Eye Institute, is one of the select group of doctors to perform a new breakthrough treatment for glaucoma patients who also have cataracts.   A device called the iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass, or iStent, is a microscopic titanium tube that is 1 millimeter in size and designed to be inserted into the eye during cataract surgery as a treatment for glaucoma.

The iStent is the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA.  It is so small that patients won’t even feel it or see it, but it works inside the eye to help reduce eye pressure.  It’s a painless procedure and doesn’t add a lot of time to cataract surgery.  Traditional treatments of glaucoma involve prescription eye drops that need to be administered multiple times daily.  With the iStent, many patients will need less medicine to control their eye pressure and some may not need any drops at all.

The majority of glaucoma patients develop cataracts that have to be removed, which means a significant number of glaucoma patients stand to benefit from this procedure.   Dr. Clinch is proud to be one of the providers around the country able to offer this to our patients.  This tremendous innovation is a brand new tool unlike anything previously used to treat glaucoma. 


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