Glaucoma Newcomer Stalks Baby Boomers
A newer type of glaucoma is stalking larger numbers of baby boomers, along with some middle aged and elderly people as well. Known by the tongue-twisting name, Neovascular Glaucoma, the disorder goes hand-in-glove with the estimated four million type II diabetes cases in the U.S. But a glaucoma treatment is close at hand.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA (PRWEB) January 6, 2011
New World Medical, Inc. has announced that a glaucoma treatment is helping one-quarter of patients afflicted with neovascular glaucoma, a study of the firm’s records reveals.
An example is 50-year-old Jane W. of Los Angeles. She noticed her vision becoming blurry but had not seen an eye doctor because she was just too busy. Jane had taken on extra work and chores at her job. And with a busy family, she had put off all doctor visits.
Recently, she woke up with pain in one eye and went to see Ann Coleman, M.D., Ph.D., at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the UCLA School of Medicine.
“Type II diabetes is growing in the U.S. and globally,” says Dr. Coleman. “Usually, people afflicted with neovascular glaucoma have not been getting proper eye checkups and have not been paying attention to their A1C levels or to other glaucoma symptoms.”
A1C is an important measure of sugar in the blood over time. Type II diabetics are advised to keep their A1C rates below 7. Normal levels are 4.5 to six.
According to Mateen Ahmed, M.D., Ph.D., New World Medical’s President and CEO, neovascular glaucoma develops when abnormal blood vessels grow in response to excess blood sugar. The sugar damages some vessels so the body responds by growing yet more blood vessels to deliver additional oxygen to the eyes. But those new blood vessels are weak, bleed easily and eventually interfere with the eyes’ natural drainage system.
“All that creates more pressure inside the eyes,” says Dr. Ahmed. “Left without glaucoma treatment, the condition leads to blindness.”
About 10 to 15 percent of glaucoma sufferers are between 50 and 60 years old, according to Glaucoma.org.
New World Medical manufactures special, extremely thin valves that are surgically sewn onto glaucoma-stricken eyes in short, outpatient procedures for glaucoma treatment. (Learn what Wikipedia says about the glaucoma valves.)
Recovery and a return to clear vision usually take about a week with some patients returning to work in just several days.
Known as the Ahmed Glaucoma Valve, the F.D.A.-cleared device is used worldwide and automatically controls the internal eye pressure. (Read more about how the Ahmed Glaucoma Valve helps patients.)
“The valve opens when higher pressure inside the eye overcomes the resistance of an extremely thin covering of medical grade rubber, releasing some fluid inside the eye,” says Dr. Ahmed. “But when the eye pressure returns to normal, the thin covering closes again so no more fluid is released from the glaucoma eye.”
Other conditions in which the Ahmed Glaucoma Valve are indicted include:
- Uveitis – a chronic inflammation of the eye
- Traumatic glaucoma – caused by an injury
- Infantile/Juvenile glaucoma – a much smaller Ahmed valve fits children with development woes
While studying the database of company sales and shipping, New World Medical staffers found that about 25 percent of existing U.S. and worldwide neovascular glaucoma patients found relief — and continuing healthy vision — with the Ahmed Glaucoma Valve.
“Most glaucoma patients first try certain medications, then lasers and then an operation that creates a small surgical flap on the eye to allow fluid to drain out,” Dr. Ahmed says.
But, alas, most medications have undesirable side effects or don’t work; the two types of lasers used on eyes in glaucoma surgery — the Argon and Yag lasers — only create holes that close up again, causing fluid buildup and increased pressure again.
Open Angle Glaucoma
The Ahmed Glaucoma Valve also is used to treat many millions of people worldwide who have open angle glaucoma, the other common type of glaucoma. Unfortunately, many sufferers confuse their glaucoma symptoms with the need for cataract eye surgery. Cataracts are actually a disorder of the eye lens.
According to the New World Medical’s records, the valve’s initial success rate is 90 to 95 percent. After five years, as many as 40 to 50 percent of patients still find relief.
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For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2011/01/prweb4940684.htm