The Latest Research in Glaucoma Treatment and Prevention
Glaucoma is a serious eye condition where pressure builds up within the chamber of the eye. This compresses the optic nerve that sends signals to the brain. Early stages can cause visual disturbances and the late stage can lead to total vision loss.
Thankfully, there is much that can be done to treat the condition. The following looks at the latest treatments for glaucoma and the latest research that will bring increased options in the near to mid-term future.
- The different types of glaucoma
The different types of glaucoma
There are several types of glaucoma:
- Primary open-angle glaucoma: This is the most common and develops over several years
- Acute angle closure glaucoma: An uncomment type that occurs when the drainage within the eye becomes blocked suddenly. It causes eye pressure to increase very quickly.
- Secondary glaucoma: Occurs due to an underlying eye condition, such as uveitis.
- Congenital glaucoma: Also called childhood glaucoma. This is very rare and is caused by an eye abnormality.
Glaucoma: treatments today and in the future
- Glaucoma treatments today
- Latest research and future glaucoma treatments
Glaucoma treatments today
Today’s glaucoma treatments involve eye drops and/or surgery. In late 2022 the FDA approved a new drug—known as Omlonti—a drop therapy to treat open-angle glaucoma. Many other eye drops and oral medications successfully help reduce pressure, including:
- Alpha-adrenergic agonists
- Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
- Prostaglandins—of which the new Omlonti is a type
- Rho kinase inhibitors
- Cholinergic agents
While these all work in different ways, they all act on the fluid within the eye (either reducing it or improving its flow) to reduce intraocular pressure.
Glaucoma surgery has advanced dramatically over recent years. Mechanical operations currently on offer include:
- Shunt procedure: Where a tiny tube is placed within the eye down which the fluid can drain. It’s suitable for all types of glaucoma
- Filtering surgery: A small part of the sclera is removed to allow the fluid to drain. Again, it can be effective for all types.
The most cutting-edge treatments are those that use laser surgery to reduce eye pressure.
Latest research and future glaucoma treatments
Two particular laser options are extremely effective and take minimal time to carry out. Adantages include being able to be performed in the eye doctor’s office and requiring little recovery time.
- Selective laser trabeculoplasty: Treats open-angle glaucoma by opening a small incision near the iris to increase drainage.
- Laser iridotomy: An incision is made in the iris to aid drainage. It’s used for close-angle glaucoma.
As for what might be available in the future, a large-scale study is currently underway in the UK using a form of vitamin B3 (nicotinamide) to treat the condition.
There’s also a potential treatment being developed that will replace eye drops and/or surgery with biannual injections. Other research is looking at gene therapy, anti-fibrotic therapy, a new type of laser direct selective laser trabeculoplasty, and an implant that gradually releases a drug that reduces intraocular pressure.
While the latter treatments will take some time to come to fruition, the key to benefiting from the latest options is to seek a specialist ophthalmologist who provides cutting-edge glaucoma remedies.
Want the Ultimate in Glaucoma Treatments? You Need the West Boca Eye Center
Treating glaucoma is a specialty at the WBEC, with the very latest treatment and advanced options available. Another reason to partner with our expert clinicians is that, being an academic facility, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries when it comes to medical advancements. This means that we’re often one of the first in the country to be able to offer the latest glaucoma treatments, should they be suitable for you.
Visit https://westbocaeyecenter.com/services/glaucoma-dropless-therapy/ for more information and call today to speak to our team.