Navigation Links
Waiting Safe for Some at Risk of Glaucoma
Date:3/8/2010

Doctors can postpone treatment in low-risk patients, study finds

MONDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Eye doctors can often treat glaucoma successfully if they catch it early, but a new study suggests that ophthalmologists can sometimes wait before treating those at risk of developing the disease.

If their ophthalmologists choose to postpone treatment, certain patients with higher-than-normal pressure in the eye won't need to take prescription anti-glaucoma eye drops, potentially for years.

"In the past, doctors were left to their own judgment, which is fine," said study author Dr. Michael A. Kass, chairman of the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. "But it's nice to have some judgment that's backed up by some hard evidence."

Glaucoma, caused when pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve, can lead to impaired vision and blindness. Older people and blacks are at especially high risk.

To measure their risk, ophthalmologists measure eye pressure, often with a puff of air or blue light.

The pressure exists because "there's fluid produced in the eye, and it needs to filter out. It keeps your eye from being soft and mushy, and allows you to keep the structural roundness necessary for you to see," explained Dr. Alfred Sommer, a professor of ophthalmology and dean emeritus of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

People with higher pressure are at risk of developing glaucoma, and eye doctors can give preventive eye drops to patients when their eye pressure is high. But the drops can be expensive and annoying, Sommer said.

So, what to do with the millions of people in the United States who have high eye pressure with no sign of glaucoma damage?

In the new study, Kass and his colleagues tracked 1,636 people with higher than normal eye pressure. The patients were randomly assigned to be observed or to receive medication.

Patients in the medication group were treated for a median of 13 years. After a median of 7.5 years without treatment, those who were observed received medication for a median of 5.5 years. In the medication group, the risk of developing glaucoma was 16 percent, compared with 22 percent in the observation group.

Some patients "are at low risk, and they don't seem to benefit much from early preventive treatment. The people who are high risk may benefit," Kass said.

If glaucoma does develop, it can often be treated through medication, laser treatments and other strategies, he added.

Overall, the findings shouldn't change how eye doctors currently handle high eye pressure, said Sommer, who wrote a commentary accompanying the new study.

"My own preference, unless someone is a really high-risk outlier, is to just watch them rather than subject them to pressure-lowering medication," Sommer said.

Patients who are diagnosed with high eye pressure should ask their doctor whether they're at high risk or if they can just be monitored, he suggested.

However, "you can't disappear," he said. "You need to have an examination once a year to make sure there hasn't been any progression."

The findings are published in the March issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

More information

For more on glaucoma, visit the U.S. National Eye Institute.



SOURCES: Michael A. Kass, M.D., chairman, department of ophthalmology and visual sciences, Washington University, St. Louis; Alfred Sommer, M.D., professor, ophthalmology, and dean emeritus, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; March 2010, Archives of Ophthalmology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Microtek Medical Receives Early Termination of Hart-Scott-Rodino Act Waiting Period for Its Proposed Acquisition by Ecolab
2. Siemens Announces Early Termination of Hart-Scott-Rodino Waiting Period For Acquisition of Dade Behring Holdings, Inc.; U.S. Antitrust Clearance Achieved
3. New Technology at Unitrin Direct Gives Customers an Alternative to Waiting
4. Radiation seed implant decreases risk of death over watchful waiting
5. New Heart Pump Helps Women Awaiting Transplants
6. Governor Rendell Offers Coverage to 29,000 on AdultBasic Waiting List; Unveils New Policy to Improve Quality of Care for the Low-Income and Pennsylvanians With Disabilities
7. Blacks awaiting lung transplants more likely to die or be denied than whites
8. Blacks Awaiting Lung Transplants Face Poorer Outcomes
9. Renovis Announces Expiration of Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) 30-Day Waiting Period; Merger With Evotec on Track to Close in Early May, 2008
10. Hidden heart condition increases the risk of death in patients waiting for kidney transplants
11. Waiting room gadget may prove to be a life-saver
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of ... collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event ... wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader ... been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). ... the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and operators ... location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of 2018. ... in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both Covington ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Information about the technology: , Otomagnetics has ... prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy in children. Cisplatin and carboplatin ... cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as a dose limiting toxicity. Hearing ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... named one of Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in Wellness® by Best and ... Wellness® awards program on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/5/2017)... 5, 2017  In response to the nationwide ... Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that urge ... used as a first-line therapy to manage a ... Recognizing the value and importance ... "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" stresses ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... Mass. , Oct. 4, 2017  According to the Centers for ... the end of October . PhysicianOne Urgent Care is helping communities across ... Westchester, NY , by offering no-cost* flu shots through the ... as mandated by certain health insurance regulations. ... The best time to get a flu shot is by the ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. ... Day Software and Consulting, LLC , and named its ... Software, based in Tennessee , will ... Day expands EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health care partners ... "In an interoperable world, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: