Nearly a hundred thousand people will be blinded by glaucoma this year. There’ve been few breakthroughs in treating the eye disease until now. Janet St. James is here with some details. Janet ?

“John, this is a very promising alternative to expensive daily glaucoma medications that often quit working.”

“Good morning.”

When Jean Patterson went for a routine eye check up a few years ago, he was stunned to hear he have glaucoma. Glaucoma results when the eye’s natural fluids don’t drain normally causing a potentially blinding high pressure. For years, Patterson has been treated with the gold standard therapy, eye drops; lots of them.

“Five drops, different types of medicines, two times a day. It gets hard to keep up with.”

When the drops quit working, he tried a breakthrough surgery, one that does for the eye, what angioplasty does for the heart. In canaloplasty, a tiny catheter navigates around and enlarges the eye’s natural drainage canal releasing pressure.

“People usually return to their normal activities within a week or 10 days; Patients recovers quite rapidly compared to traditional glaucoma surgery and the results, the pressure, are excellent.”

Dr. Brian Flowers is among the few Ophthalmologists trained in canaloplasty: though he believes it will one day become standard treatment for glaucoma.

Jean Patterson quitting all those cumbersome eye drops.

“It’s like, probably like living a normal life.”

Best of all he knows he’ll get to watch his grandson grow up without fear of going blind.

Canaloplasty is covered by Insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare.

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