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:7/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... In the first prospective ACL reconstruction ... Outcome Network (MOON) demonstrated that patients could perform sports-related functions and maintain a ... over time. The study, presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... ... rates are on the rise, say researchers presenting their work at the ... Canada. , “The combination of evaluating the patterns of change in concussion symptom ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... Richmond, Va. (PRWEB) , ... July 20, 2017 , ... ... Daniel McCarter, MD, has joined JenCare Senior Medical Center as Richmond Chief ... of Virginia School of Medicine, and Associate Chief Medical Officer of Ambulatory Services for ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... ... and application performance monitoring (APM) solutions, has expanded its footprint inside the ... According to Peter Ohrenberger, sales director at Nastel, “We’ve replaced an existing ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 20, 2017 , ... For individuals ... utmost importance. The adjustable beds used in such facilities are specially designed to accommodate ... adequate arm support. , An inventor from Rochester, Ind., has invented the patent-pending ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/14/2017)... 13, 2017 It should come as no surprise ... is in the midst of a crippling opioid epidemic. According ... the number of overdose deaths from opiate-based medications has quadrupled, ... a million dead from 2001 to 2015". During this time, ... has similarly quadrupled, drawing a compelling link between prescription and ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... 2017 RK Logistics Group, Inc. was awarded ... its Fremont, CA headquarters facility where ... and San Jose for hi-tech, pharmaceutical ... , with its Fremont Innovation District, is excited to ... powerful resource to the hundreds of biotech, pharma and biomed ...
(Date:7/12/2017)... -- CarpalAID is a revolutionary new product that relieves painful carpal ... tunnel syndrome affects more than 8 million people a year. Women ... The common methods of treating CTS are painful surgery, the use ... gloves. ... CarpalAID is a clear patch worn on the palm of the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: