Daily Health Headlines

Study Supports Benefit of Widely Used Glaucoma Drug

👤by Robert Preidt 0 comments 🕔Friday, December 19th, 2014

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Prostaglandin analogue eye drops -- a common form of glaucoma drug -- significantly reduce the risk of vision loss in patients with the eye disease, a new study finds.

British researchers led by David Garway-Heath, of the Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology in London, tracked outcomes for more than 500 people newly diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma -- the most common form of the disease and one of the leading causes of blindness.

About 45 million people worldwide have this type of glaucoma, and the number is expected to rise to 53 million by 2020 and 80 million by 2040, according to the researchers.

However, they found that the use of latanoprost -- a form of prostaglandin analogue eye drops -- reduced the risk of vision loss in these patients by more than 50 percent over two years, compared to those who received an inactive placebo.

The study, published Dec. 18 in The Lancet, received funding from drug maker Pfizer.

"Medication to lower raised eye pressure has been used for decades as the main treatment for open-angle glaucoma to delay progressive vision loss," Garway-Heath said in a journal news release. "But, until now, the extent to which the most frequently prescribed class of pressure-lowering drugs (prostaglandin analogues) have a protective effect on vision was not known," he said.

"Our findings offer solid proof to patients and practitioners that the visual deterioration caused by glaucoma can be reduced using this treatment," Garway-Heath added.

Two experts in eye health said the study offers reassurance to patients.

Dr. Mark Fromer is an ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He said that glaucoma is typically treated by interventions that lower the level of pressure within the eye.

"Elevated eye pressure can lead to optic nerve damage," which can harm vision, Fromer explained, so glaucoma "is most commonly treated with a prostaglandin analogue eye drop to reduce eye pressure."

The new study shows "that the use of these medications can greatly reduce the risk of visual loss, and a significant benefit in the treatment group could be seen at one year," he added.

Another expert agreed. "Prostaglandin analogues are typically the first line in treatment for most glaucoma patients as they are an easy, once-a-day medication with a low side-effect profile," said Dr. Reena Garg, assistant professor at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York City.

But Garg also stressed that these medications are not a cure for glaucoma.

In glaucoma, "visual loss can only be slowed, not stopped," Garg said. "It is necessary to educate patients that while glaucoma cannot be cured, proper follow up with a trained specialist can slow the progression of the disease allowing patients to maintain good vision throughout their lifetime."

-- Robert Preidt

Article Credits / Source

Robert Preidt / HealthDay

Robert Preidt wrote this story for HealthDay. HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCES: Mark Fromer, M.D., ophthalmologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Reena Garg, M.D., assistant professor, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, New York City; The Lancet, news release, Dec. 18, 2014

View More Articles From Robert Preidt 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Eyesight Articles

Doctors Use iPads to Treat 'Lazy Eye,' With Mixed Results

Doctors Use iPads to Treat 'Lazy Eye,' With Mixed Results0

THURSDAY, Nov. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Does playing video games on an iPad work better than standard eye-patching for improving vision in children with lazy eye? Two new studies in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology reach seemingly ...

Some Primates Have Vision Troubles as They Age

Some Primates Have Vision Troubles as They Age0

TUESDAY, Nov. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Just like humans, some primates start having difficulty seeing things up close as they age. Researchers reviewed photos of 14 wild bonobos as they groomed each other. The primates were between 11 and 45 ...

Paintball Causes Many Vision-Robbing Eye Injuries

Paintball Causes Many Vision-Robbing Eye Injuries0

THURSDAY, Nov. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Paintball guns pose the greatest risk of vision loss among the sports most commonly associated with eye injuries, a new study finds. Basketball, cycling and baseball injuries to the eye occur more ...

Health Tip: Are Your Screens Causing Eye Strain?

Health Tip: Are Your Screens Causing Eye Strain?0

(HealthDay News) -- Staring at your TV, computer, smart phone or tablet can cause a problem known as computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain. The American Optometric Association says to watch for these warning signs: Feeling that ...

Mediterranean Diet, Caffeine May Be Good for Your Eyes

Mediterranean Diet, Caffeine May Be Good for Your Eyes0

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Eating a Mediterranean diet and consuming caffeine may lower your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness, according to a new study. Previous ...

View More Eyesight Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!