As medical research continues to progress new treatments and more effective diagnosis in the eye care industry; this month, breakthroughs have been reported that give new hope to both diagnosed and potential glaucoma patients.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness and visual impairment in the UK and is often not even noticed until sight has deteriorated. The only way to detect this serious condition is to have regular, annual eye tests to test for changes in eye pressure but three separate studies have recently confirmed genetic links to the condition. This is an exciting revelation that could even lead to a screening process to identify those with a higher genetic risk of the condition.
The studies, one led by King’s College London and all published in ‘Nature Genetics’, have reported that genetic changes in the ABCA1 and PMM2 genes which are associated with glaucoma risk. As reported on Medical News Today, early diagnosis is critical to reduce the irreversible damage to vision and explains how treatments could now be targeted at reducing the amount of these genes or altering its expression through chemicals used to block the proteins produced by the genes. This is a very exciting development for the early treatment of this damaging condition and will continue to update our readers with any further news on the subject.
For people already diagnosed with Glaucoma, it has also been revealed that an eye implant which can be used at home in conjunction with a smartphone, can allow patients to test and measure their internal optic pressure (IOP) more frequently to allow doctors to better tailor their treatment plan. The IOP varies often, much like blood pressure, so more frequent measurements gives a more accurate analysis of the disease’s severity to allow for more accurate and effective treatment. This device however hasn’t yet reached the clinic trial stage but the simplicity of the device has excited many eye professionals and LaserVision will keep our readers up to date with any further developments of this technology.
To find out more about Glaucoma symptoms, the risk factors, diagnosis and the possible treatments, click here.
Gene linked to development of glaucoma.