New hope for glaucoma patients - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

New hope for glaucoma patients

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(KARE)   Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world.

Now there's a brand new treatment for those with glaucoma. It's a micro-stent, called the iStent.

Robert Poirer, a retired ophthalmologist, has glaucoma which can lead to blindness due to increased pressure in the eye. Eye drops from two medications reduced his pressure only so much.  So when he heard about the iStent, he made sure he was one of the first in line.  

"As a retired MD, this has been the most eye opening experience that I've ever had," he says.

Dr. Thomas Samuelson with Minnesota Eye Consultants was the primary investigator on the FDA trial for the tiny one-millimeter iStent, which drains fluid from the eye to lower pressure.  

"These new stents are completely novel. There has not been anything like them in the past," Samuelson says.

He says it is safer than getting traditional glaucoma surgery because the iStent is implanted during cataract surgery.

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