A new device being developed as the first Personalized glaucoma treatment to stop vision loss
What is Glaucoma?
The glaucomas are a group of serious diseases that can damage the optic nerve, can worsen over time, and can lead to permanent blindness.1 Over 64 million people across the globe have glaucoma, and this number is expected to increase over the next few decades.2 There is no cure for glaucoma at this time, but treatment can slow the progression of the disease.3
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Most people do not know they have glaucoma right away. It usually takes a while for symptoms to develop.4 As the disease progresses, people with glaucoma may slowly start to lose their side vision (also called peripheral vision).3
Glaucoma in its advanced stages can lead to full vision loss.3
Pain, nausea, redness of the eye, and blurred vision are symptoms of an acute glaucoma and should be treated immediately by a physician. 3
What causes glaucoma?
What is intraocular pressure? Why is it important?
Glaucoma usually occurs when too much pressure builds up inside the eye. This pressure is called intraocular pressure, or IOP. The level of IOP in the eye depends on how much fluid is coming into the eye and how much fluid is able to leave the eye. The fluid in the eye that is responsible for IOP is called aqueous humor. 4
Aqueous humor enters the eye from the ciliary body and drains through two pathways- through the trabecular pathway or through the uveoscleral pathway. If too much aqueous humor comes in, or if not enough flows out through one or both pathways, IOP can increase to levels that damage the optic nerve. 4 Some doctors compare this process to blowing up a balloon. The pressure in the eye does not get strong enough to pop the eye, but it can be strong enough to damage the optic nerve.
Normal IOP usually ranges between 12-22 mg Hg. Not all patients with high IOP will have glaucoma, and not all patients with glaucoma have high IOP.5
- McMonnies CW. Glaucoma history and risk factors. J Optom. 2017;10:71-8.
- Tham YC, Li X, Wong TY, et al. Global prevalence of glaucoma and projections of glaucoma burden through 2040. Ophthalmology. 2014;121(11):2081-90.
- Facts about glaucoma. National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Eye Institute. 2015. https://nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts. Published September, 2015. Accessed 6 May 2019.
- Weinreb RN, Aung T, Medeiros FA. The pathophysiology and treatment of glaucoma. JAMA. 2014;311(18):1901-11.
- Tsai JC. High eye pressure and glaucoma. Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF). https://www.glaucoma.org/gleams/high-eye-pressure-and-glaucoma.php. Published October 29, 2017. Accessed 6 May 2019.