New Eye Implant May Improve Glaucoma Treatment
등록일 2019년 01월 07일 목요일
수정일 2017년 11월 30일 목요일

Photo by: Dmitry Kalinovsky via Shutterstock

A new eye drug delivery has been developed to resolve poor patient compliance with glaucoma treatment.The new drug delivery system was developed by the researchers at University of California San Francisco.

Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the eye's optic nerve.It usually occurs when fluid accumulates in the front part of the eye.The accumulation of fluid causes pressure in the eye that damages the optic nerve.The common treatment of glaucoma is an eye drop medicine.The eye drop medicine prescribed by an ophthalmologist either helps drain the fluid better or reduces the eye pressure.

However, eye drop medicine for glaucoma must be applied up to three times a day.Patients sometimes miss the intended target part of the eye or even the entire eye, making the drug delivery unreliable.Thus, the researchers at UCSF developed a way to resolve this.

They developed a tiny implant to simplify the administration of glaucoma drugs for patients.It is a tiny implant to be placed in the eye that slowly releases the medication while dissolving at the same time.The implant is made of biodegradable films that contain the glaucoma drug.They tested the new implant in animal models.During their study, they found that within 24 weeks the medication reduced the eye pressure in animals.Aside from minor and some rare complications, the implant was an overall success.

"We can load enough drug in the tiny device to last over six months.While there have been important advances in eye drop formulations, our device substantially reduces the burden of patient compliance in a safe and effective way," said Dr.Tejal Desai, chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UCSF and the first author of the study.

The researchers will need to test the new implant on larger animal models and comply with current good manufacturing practices before it can be used in clinical trials.

Eye Diseases: Glaucoma

Aqueous humor is constantly produced by the eyes.It is a clear liquid located in the front part of the eyes.This fluid ensures that the eyes are nourished and kept inflated.When the eyes produce aqueous humor, the same amount is drained toward the drainage angle.The cycle prevents instability of intraocular pressure, the pressure in the eye.If the fluid builds up, the pressure rises and can damage the eyes, leading to glaucoma.

- Open-angle glaucoma is the silent thief of sight because people with this glaucoma type, won't notice any vision changes until the problem is severe.There is no warning sign or symptoms except for a growing number of blind spots in the peripheral vision.

- Angle-closure glaucoma is usually indicated by an attack.Early symptoms associated with this glaucoma include blurred vision, halos, mild headaches, and pain in the eye.An attack in the eye can be characterized by one or more signs, such as severe pain in the eye or forehead, eye redness, decreased vision, rainbows or halos, and nausea and vomiting.

- Normal tension glaucoma is described as eye pressure within normal ranges but the person exhibits symptoms of glaucoma such as blind spots and optic nerve damage.

- Ocular hypertension is a condition wherein the eye pressure is higher than normal but lacks the signs of optic nerve damage.People with this condition are called glaucoma suspects because they have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.

Some people have a higher risk of developing glaucoma due to several factors:

- Age 40 and older.

- A family history of glaucoma.

- Farsighted or nearsighted.

- Have an eye injury or high eye pressure.

- Have thinning of the optic nerve or thinning of the corneas' center part.

- Suffering from other health conditions, such as migraines or diabetes.

- African or Hispanic ancestry.

Photo by: SERGEI PRIMAKOV via Shutterstock

Preventing Glaucoma

There are some methods that a person can follow to promote eye health and control eye pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic.

1.Eating a healthy diet promotes overall good health.You can include dark, leafy vegetables and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids to get essential nutrients for your eyes.

2.Exercise regularly and safely to help reduce eye pressure in open-angle glaucoma.

3.Certain beverages such as drinks with caffeine can increase the pressure in your eye.Avoid them as much as possible.

4.When you consume fluids, drink them in moderate amounts to prevent a spike in eye pressure.A large amount of fluid consumption in a short period of time temporarily increases the eye pressure.

5.Intraocular pressure may be reduced during your sleep when your head is slightly raised.

6.Some herbal supplements such as bilberry and ginkgo have been advertised as remedies for glaucoma.You can add these supplements to your diet but talk to your doctor first, especially if you are taking other medications.

7.Keep your stress under control.Stress may trigger the attack of acute angle-closure glaucoma.

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