Did you know not all glaucoma treatments are alike? There are new developments in glaucoma treatment happening right now! Campus Eye Center in Lancaster, PA is always on top of the latest glaucoma treatments so patients like you are getting the best care. DURYSTA™ is the newest glaucoma treatment we offer here at the Campus Eye Center.
What is Glaucoma?
Before we discuss how Campus Eye Center is using DURYSTA™, let’s discuss what glaucoma is. Glaucoma is a condition of the eyes where the optic nerve is damaged. Elevated intraocular pressure and eye injuries, among other risks, may cause glaucoma. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause vision loss over time, and it is the leading cause of vision impairment in the United States.
Unfortunately, any vision loss suffered by having glaucoma is irreversible, so it is essential to schedule regular eye exams with your ophthalmologist or optometrist. Anyone can develop glaucoma, but some are at higher risk than others. If you want to know about what risks you might have, check out our post about 7 things you didn’t know about glaucoma.
Lowering intraocular pressure is the only method proven to decrease the risk of worsening glaucoma. It is important to address the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible to help maintain your vision. DURYSTA™, a new treatment offered at Campus Eye Center, can be part of your glaucoma treatment plan.
What is DURYSTA™?
DURYSTA™, also known as a bimatoprost ophthalmic implant, is a new glaucoma treatment. DURYSTA™ is a self-administering medicine that helps keep intraocular pressure under control. According to The American Academy of Ophthalmology, it became FDA approved in March of 2020. This treatment is a rod-shaped, biodegradable, solid polymer matrix that contains 10 mcg of bimatoprost. The implant is very small, at only 1mm in length.
As a sustained-release medicine, it continues to treat the affected eye or eyes over several months. This treatment provides consistent eye pressure control for most patients, an essential factor in controlling glaucoma. DURYSTA™ will give you the benefit of bimatoprost eye drops without the inconvenience of trying to remember to use your eye drops on time every day. Right now, you can only get the DURYSTA™ treatment once per eye.
What Is The Difference Between DURYSTA™ and Eye Drops?
The main difference between DURYSTA™ and eye drops is how the patient uses them. Both are bimatoprost medications used to treat glaucoma. You have to administer eye drops yourself, while DURYSTA™ is an implant that self-administers. The implant replaces the need for bimatoprost eye drops for glaucoma patients during the DURYSTA™ treatment. Eye drops are difficult for some to manage, including patients with arthritis, irritated eyes, or memory disorders like dementia.
Are You A Good Candidate for DURYSTA™?
If you have ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma, DURYSTA™ may be right for you. It is ideal for patients who have difficulty using their eye drops or are otherwise considered unsuitable for topical drop therapy. DURYSTA™ may be a good choice for you if you have previously undergone Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty.
DURYSTA™ is not for patients with a history of sensitivity to bimatoprost, have Fuch’s Dystrophy, have aphakia, or those who have undergone corneal transplants. Want to learn if this treatment is right for you? Talk to one of our Campus Eye Center doctors, and they can walk you through the process and any questions you may have.
How Does the Ophthalmologist Place DURYSTA™?
The DURYSTA™ implant procedure happens in a sterile office setting. The ophthalmologist will clean and numb your eye with drops before the injection of the implant. A small needle will enter through the cornea, and your ophthalmologist will release the implant into the anterior chamber of your eye. The procedure only takes a few moments, and you may be surprised at how quickly it is over.
The implant will remain in place until it dissolves, usually about 15 weeks in clinical studies, and will continue its slow release of medicine over that time. For some patients, the benefits of DURYSTA™ last even after the implant has fully dissolved. There is no removal necessary, as the implant breaks down on its own. It is necessary to follow your eye doctor’s instructions for eye care following the placement of DURYSTA™.
Are There Any Side Effects to DURYSTA™?
Like the eye drops used to treat glaucoma, DURYSTA™ may cause discoloration or permanent color changes in the iris. If this happens, your irises may become more darkly pigmented or become browner. If you are receiving treatment in just one eye, this may affect the color of just one of your eyes. Side effects after the procedure include eye redness, eye pain, eye irritation, corneal endothelial cell loss, light sensitivity, and dry eyes. Our ophthalmologists can discuss other side effects or concerns you may have as you plan your glaucoma treatment together.
Have Questions About Glaucoma or Other Eye Health Concerns?
Whether you want to discuss if DURYSTA™ is right for you or you would like to schedule a routine exam, Campus Eye Center is here to help you care for your eyes. Our experienced, compassionate team of board-certified ophthalmologists, optometrists, nurses, technicians, and other professionals will work together to ensure you have the best care. Contact us at Campus Eye Center to schedule an appointment!