Don't Give Up Hope: 2 Experimental Glaucoma Treatments Showing Promising Results

Health & Medical Blog

If you or someone you love has glaucoma, then you and they likely live in fear that they may one day lose their vision completely. While current glaucoma medications and surgeries are very successful, researchers are determined to continue finding new ways to control glaucoma to keep it from worsening and hopefully even one day find a way to restore vision to those who have already lost it. While still in its early development stages, optic nerve cell regeneration may one day restore vision lost by glaucoma. However, that treatment may not be available for many years, so it is still best to prevent vision loss instead of waiting for a cure to restore it. Read on to learn about two experimental glaucoma treatments showing promising results at controlling the eye disease and preventing further vision loss in those affected by it. 

1. Antioxidant Glaucoma Treatment Controls Eye Inflammation

Most health-conscious people have heard of antioxidants and how they should eat diets full of them to help prevent cancer. While antioxidants kill the free radicals that can cause cancer, it has also been discovered that they have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Since many diseases are caused by or accompanied with inflammation, including eye inflammation in glaucoma, researchers decided to see how mice with glaucoma would respond to a potent antioxidant treatment. 

The eye inflammation due to glaucoma in the mice provided the antioxidant treatment was greatly reduced after six weeks of treatment. 

While this antioxidant treatment will need to be tested much more before people with glaucoma can try it, it may end up being a great glaucoma treatment for people who don't respond to traditional glaucoma medications or one that can be used along with current treatments to further halt progression of the disease. 

2. Glaucoma Contact Lens Delivers Medication Around-the-Clock

While there are eye drops that help control glaucoma, some people are prone to forgetting to use them on a regular basis, and some experience little to no relief of their glaucoma symptoms when using them. That is why researchers decided to create a contact lens that delivers a steady stream of glaucoma medication to a person who suffers from the disease while they wear it. In addition to delivering medication, the lens itself can correct vision while it is worn, similar to how traditional contact lenses correct vision in people with various levels of blurriness of vision. 

The lens is made of already FDA-approved contact lens material, but instead of consisting of just one layer, as traditional contact lenses are, it is made up of several thin layers of contact lens material with a layer of film in the middle that contains medication. When worn by mice for four weeks in a trial, the contact lens worked very well and was able to deliver a steady stream of the glaucoma medication to the mice for a full four weeks before needing to be replaced. It will need more testing before being available to all glaucoma sufferers, but if it is FDA-approved, it could be a great treatment for people who forget to use their glaucoma eye drops, such as the elderly. 

If you or a loved one suffer from glaucoma and current medications are not controlling it well, then glaucoma surgery should be considered next. However, there is a lot of research going on to find new glaucoma treatments, and researchers are still hoping to find not only a glaucoma cure, but a way to restore vision to people who have already lost their vision due to the disease. Contacting a professional, like Coastal Eye Care, could be a great way to find out which treatment options might be best.


29 December 2016

Making Changes With Vision Therapy

When my daughter began having academic problems in school and acting out, I knew that something wasn’t right. Her teachers wanted me to put her on ADD medications, but I didn’t think that that was the right course for us. I had serious doubts that ADD was what was causing her problems. I took her to several different specialists before discovering that her issues in school were actually do to a visual processing problem. The doctor recommended vision therapy, not medication, to help correct the problem and get her back on track. The exercises are really starting to pay off, and she’s showing great improvement.