Israel’s New Glaucoma Treatment
Glaucoma is a serious, degenerative eye disease that’s most prevalent in people aged 60 and older. More than 3 million Americans live with glaucoma, and it’s a leading cause of blindness among Hispanics and African Americans.
While glaucoma has generally been preventable by eye drops or laser surgery, each of these options come with downsides. Patients often forget to use eye drops on a regular basis, and traditional laser surgery can be an uncomfortable procedure.
Dr. Matzkin and Dr. Herron are excited about a new glaucoma treatment option on the horizon. Developed by Israeli startup Belkin Laser, the Eagle device is an innovative, no-contact laser treatment being studied in Europe and Israel.
How it Works
Aqueous humor is the transparent, gelatinous fluid that fills the space between the eye’s cornea and lens. It provides nutrition to the surrounding tissues and works as a shock absorbent.
The eye constantly produces new aqueous humor, requiring a drainage system to maintain normal eye pressure. Glaucoma results when this drainage system is obstructed, resulting in increased ocular pressure (IOP).
Current laser eye surgery for glaucoma is called selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). It involves placing a large rotating lens against the eye to deliver 100 separate laser beams that restore normal aqueous humor flow. The procedure takes around 10 minutes and can be uncomfortable.
Belkin’s alternative laser treatment transmits the 100-plus laser beams almost simultaneously. This means that the procedure is over within seconds and free from discomfort. There’s also no physical contact with the eye.
When will this option be available in the United States?
Although the timeline has been influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, Belkin hopes to see the treatment commercialized in the European Union sometime in 2022. FDA approval is projected to follow, but no date has been released yet.
If you have glaucoma—or are concerned about developing it—Allied Eye is here for you. Our welcoming and professional eye care experts can help you achieve your best vision at every stage of life. Please text or call (423) 855-8522 to make an appointment and click here to read about our current Covid-19 safety protocols. We look forward to seeing you soon!