It will happen to all of us: One day we will start to see less good than usual. Most of us will not run directly to the ophthalmologist, but will wait to see if it passes. Even if the situation worsens, we may have to wait. The fact that we may need spectacles or reading glasses will not make us particularly happy. But what if we do not need glasses, but it is something more serious?
“There are many eye diseases that chronically impair vision and thus impair quality of life and even constitute a significant economic burden,” explained Dr. Zoya Rabkin-Meiner, a glaucoma specialist and surgeon from Carmel Medical Center. The prevalence of blindness in the world. “
“Glaucoma is a chronic disease of the optic nerve, and the reasons for its development are varied. High intraocular pressure is an ongoing risk factor for the development and progression of the disease in a large proportion of cases. Increased intraocular pressure causes damage to the optic nerve.” Dr. Rabkin-Meiner. For this reason, it is very important to be checked routinely by an ophthalmologist every year from the age of 40, and if there is a history of glaucoma in the family then also from an earlier age. “
“Treatment for glaucoma becomes more complicated as the disease progresses, and accordingly the costs increase,” she adds. “Usually we start with drops to reduce pressure, once or twice a day. As the disease progresses, the treatment branches off, and can reach 5 types of drugs or drops, served in 4 vials, 3-4 times a day, per eye, for life. The drops range from NIS 18 to NIS 72 per vial. The company produces a vial with drops for 28 days of treatment. The disease. “
The cost of the drugs can amount to hundreds of shekels per month. Added to this is the cost of tear substitutes, as patients tend to suffer from dry eyes due to their age and preservatives in anti-stress drops. To all of these must be added a fee for travel and visits to the ophthalmologist, which can be frequent in cases where the patient is unstable and unbalanced under medication.
Dr. Rivkin-Meiner points out that there are many cases of glaucoma that can be suitable for laser treatment as a first-line treatment, and save, at least for a period of time, the need for drops. This is a treatment called SLT (SELECTIVE LASER TRABECULOPLASTY) There is an indirect SLT that requires the use of a contact lens on the eye during treatment, and a direct laser, which does not require lens contact.
A recent and impressive study from the UK (LiGHT Study) examined the effectiveness of laser treatment as a first-line treatment against drops and found that the clinical and economic benefits are equal or superior in some cases. This is a treatment of about 10 minutes, but it requires skill, and is performed only by glaucoma specialists.
In recent years, the high-tech community has been mobilizing to improve medicine, which does not miss the field of ophthalmology in general and glaucoma treatments in particular. “The new technologies that are being developed these days will provide a better quality of life for patients and also reduce the significant costs associated with treatment,” says Dr. Yoram Solberg, medical director of Belkin Vision, an Israeli company that develops new technology for the treatment of glaucoma.
“We are working on developing a laser that provides treatment that lasts a few seconds and does not require eye contact (DSLT). The treatment is extraocular and automatic, so that any ophthalmologist can treat glaucoma patients with the new laser. The hope is that this will be a technology that prevents deterioration and surgery. “Which will lead to savings for both the patient and the health system, on days of hospitalization, medication after surgery, visits to specialist doctors and it will improve the patient’s quality of life,” he added.
“The ‘Israeli mind’ is also mobilizing to help the eye patients, but the responsibility is first and foremost theirs,” he added. “Patients should adhere to a continuous treatment regimen and every person over the age of 40 should be examined at least once a year, in order to gain good vision for many years to come.”
Source: Maariv.co.il – סגנון-לייף סטייל by www.maariv.co.il.
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