Hydrus Glaucoma Treatment

Hydrus is one of the MIGS – minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries. This technique works by reducing the pressure in the eye so reducing the need for taking glaucoma drops and the majority of patients are off drops altogether.

Mr Vik Sharma, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at HSEH says “Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve”. More specifically, glaucoma is a group of conditions. Most types of glaucoma are associated with increased pressure within the eye, which in turn puts pressure on the optic nerve, damaging your sight. However it can occur when the pressure is not higher than normal, but the nerve damage still occurs and the resulting loss of vision. Around half of those that are suffering with glaucoma are unaware that they have it, because it can develop without presenting any serious symptoms; until there is a serious change in vision. One of the hardest parts of treating glaucoma is finding it early enough so that it does not cause any visual loss. As a country we should encourage people to have regular eye tests so that the disease can be detected more easily and earlier. People should aim to have an eye test once every two years as a bare minimum.”

2% of the population over the age of 40 have glaucoma and worryingly half of these people don’t even know they have it. This disease is most prevalent in the elderly community, however people who are short sighted, diabetic or have a family history of glaucoma are also at a higher risk. Glaucoma will often affect both eyes, however one eye may develop the disease quicker than the other. If it is left untreated it can lead to blindness. When glaucoma is caught early and treated patients can live a very normal life.

How does Hydrus work?

The Hydrus™ Microstent, is very small – roughly the size of an eyelash and is made of Nitinol, an alloy used in many medical implants, which is not reactive and tolerated well in the body.

Glaucoma is caused by a block somewhere in the drainage system stops fluid from entering the drainage channel that directs fluid out of the eye and into collector vessels on the surface of the eye, resulting in a build up in pressure.

This implant allows escape of the aqueous fluid in the eye to bypass the normal trabecular meshwork (which is where the block is likely to be) and instead directs it through the device which is implanted into Schlemm’s canal.

Very much like a coronary artery stent, it keeps this canal open and prevents it from collapsing and the length of the device is sufficiently long to be effective. The technique is often combined with cataract surgery using the same microscopic incisions.

If you would like to discuss glaucoma treatment options with our team please contact us and we will be happy to help.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.