New procedures arise to help fight Glaucoma

New procedures arise to help fight Glaucoma
Published: Feb. 24, 2016 at 7:23 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 25, 2016 at 6:23 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - New technology means people with certain eye conditions may no longer have to go under the knife. One Savannah doctor says the new procedures for Glaucoma have many more benefits as well.

There are many different types of Glaucoma, but in many cases, what happens is fluid passes through the eye too slowly, causing it to build up, and that increases pressure, damaging the optic nerve. It can cause vision loss, or in some cases, even blindness. Now, two new procedures are bringing down eye pressure in a very non-invasive way.

Dr. Harris was looking for a better option to treat his mother's Glaucoma, and he found two new procedures.

"New technology that we can do instead of an invasive surgery where we have to poke a little hole in the eye, or have more of a painful surgery with a lot of down time. We can do these with almost no downtime, and lower their pressures," said Dr. Charles Lee Harris, Southern Retina.

The first is Micropulse Laser Trabeculoplasty. It helps drop eye pressure by getting fluid to come out.

"We just place this lens, we put it right on their eye, and we have them look straight ahead and I, with a flashing light, painlessly laser around the very front of their eye," he said

Dr. Harris says this is a good option for people who forget their eye drops, or simply don't like using them.

The second procedure is called Micropulse Cyclophotocoagulation. It drops pressure by reducing the amount of fluid the eye is making.

"The wavelength travels through and zaps a little organ called the ciliary body, and it tells it to stop producing fluid."

Each procedure takes only a matter of minutes and starts working immediately. Dr. Harris says the best part is it is little risk to the patient.

"It's super safe. It doesn't cause - amazingly - any inflammation."

Dr. Harris says both procedures are covered by insurance. He also says unlike many other treatments, these are repeatable procedures that do not cause any damage

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