New FDA-Approved Treatment for Glaucoma Now Available in Southern Utah
Richens Eye Center Offers Sustained-Release Medication To Reduce Intraocular Pressure In Patients With Glaucoma Or Ocular Hypertension
St. George, UT – Richens Eye Center is offering Southern Utah and Nevada a treatment option that is an alternative to eye drops for glaucoma. DURYSTA™ (bimatoprost implant) by Allergan is the first biodegradable, sustained-release implant approved by the FDA to lower intraocular pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma, or ocular hypertension. It is injected into the eye through a tiny needle, with numbing medicine, where it dissolves very, very slowly. Allergan is a leading global pharmaceutical company with over 70 years of experience in eye care. Dr. Richens has been practicing ophthalmology since 1993; Dr. May since 1994.
“Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss affecting millions of people,” says Sharon Richens, MD, FACS, FAAO, founder of Richens Eye Center. “This new treatment is a sustained-release implant put in place with a simple injection. It’s been shown to reduce intraocular pressure by about 30 percent, and it works for at least 12-weeks, sometimes much longer, and is covered by most insurance. It’s a big shift for glaucoma patients who don’t want to deal with eye drops twice a day, who simply forget to use them, or whose hands work poorly. After DURYSTA™, patients come in for follow up exams every 3 months to monitor their progress and be sure the drug is still working.”
Current glaucoma treatments to lower intraocular pressure include eye drops, laser treatments in clinic, and several types of surgery. “Eye drops have been the standard treatment for open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common type of glaucoma. Surveys show that up to 50% of patients don’t use their drops as prescribed due to the high cost of meds, hassle factors, and forgetfulness. Inconsistent use of drops leaves patients very vulnerable to permanent vision loss as the disease progresses unchecked. DURYSTA™ is a great option for patients who don’t want to, or cannot do the drops every day,” says Dr. Richens.
About 70 million have glaucoma worldwide. It’s a progressive disease characterized by elevated intraocular pressure. Left uncontrolled, this pressure or ocular hypertension is damaging to the optic nerve and leads to permanent, irreversible losses of vision. Reducing this elevated eye pressure is the only proven method for slowing glaucoma’s progression. For more information about glaucoma and how it is treated, visit RichensEyeCenter.com or call for an appointment at 435-986-2020.
About Richens Eye Center
Richens Eye Center was founded by Dr. Sharon Richens in 2001, offering advanced eye care services including laser vision correction, cataract surgery and advanced lifestyle lenses, treatment and surgery for eye conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. Richens Eye Center employs board-certified staff and professionals associated with the University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center to deliver the finest care and surgical outcomes with the most advanced, field-proven technology and techniques. Richens Eye Center recently opened the Southwest Surgery Center for comprehensive ophthalmic and surgical care at their St. George location. See RichensEyeCenter.com.