Cataract and glaucoma are the leading causes of blindness worldwide. The prevalence of both diseases is increasing with aging population. Techniques for cataract surgery have undergone significant refinements with excellent visual outcomes enjoyed by our patients. The goal of glaucoma surgery is to lower intraocular pressure to prevent or slow down the progression of optic nerve damage and associated visual field loss. Although many patients present with these concomitant diseases, there is no general consensus on surgical management of coexisting cataract in patients with glaucoma. The surgeon has to decide which approach may be best suited for a particular patient, combined surgery or staged (sequential) surgeries, depending on the patient’s severity of glaucoma and visual compromise from a cataract. This brief review will discuss indications, surgical techniques, and outcomes of various types of combined cataract and glaucoma surgery.
For patients with cataracts in both eyes, a Monofocal Intraocular Lenses may provide the most benefit. A monofocal IOL is an intraocular lens with a fixed focus for one distance. A cataract doctor may select monofocal IOLs that are for near focus, for mid-distance focus, or for distant focus. Only one of these three can be selected and the focus will not change after surgery.
Like your eye’s natural lens, an IOL focuses light that comes into your eye through the cornea and pupil onto the retina, the sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that relays images through the optic nerve to the brain. Most IOLs are made of a flexible, foldable material and are about one-third of the size of a dime. Like the lenses of prescription eyeglasses, your IOL will contain the appropriate prescription to give you the best vision possible.