Glaucoma is one of the most common eye conditions in the United States and affects millions of people every year. This eye condition is progressive and currently has no cure. While the lack of a cure is unfortunate, there are treatment options to help slow the progress of glaucoma and alleviate symptoms. There have also been recent innovations in treatment for this prevalent eye condition that can help to make the treatment process easier and more effective. Get to know some of these innovations that are currently available and may be available in the near future so that you can be sure you are getting the best possible treatment for your glaucoma.
Implanted Device For Intraocular Pressure
One of the most common symptoms of glaucoma is what is known as high intraocular pressure. What this means is that fluid builds up in the eyes and cannot be drained from the eye. As the fluid continues to build, the pressure in the eye rises. The higher the eye pressure, the more quickly a person may experience significant vision loss as a result of their glaucoma.
To help reduce this intraocular pressure, many eye doctors prescribe eye drops designed to encourage fluid drainage. However, patients need to use these eye drops on a daily basis without missing a day and for an indefinite amount of time. Many patients do not continue their eye drop treatments or miss days frequently. There is an alternative option for delivering these medications, though and it is a non-invasive implantable device.
This device is placed just inside of the eyelid and is known as a periocular ring. It delivers the pressure-reducing medication for several months and can be a great solution for patients who cannot and do not continue with eye drops on a daily basis. While still in clinical trials, this device may soon be widely available for use in glaucoma treatment.
Smart and Drug-Delivering Contacts
Contact lenses are often thought of as corrective lenses used as an alternative to eyeglasses for vision loss. However, in the future, this may not be the only use for contact lenses in the future. Just like the implantable ring can deliver medication to the eye for high intraocular pressure, contact lenses may be able to do so as well.
Recently, glaucoma treatments through contact lenses were tested in clinical trials on monkeys suffering from glaucoma and were quite successful. Low-dose contacts were just as effective as eye drops and higher doses were well-received and showed themselves to be even more effective.
Smart contacts, on the other hand, are designed to actually monitor and predict the progression of glaucoma in the patients who are wearing them. The sensors in these smart contacts read eye pressure and the changes in that pressure to determine how the disease is progressing and can even be used to determine the effectiveness of treatments. While also still in clinical trials, these lenses could vastly improve glaucoma treatments for patients and help to individualize the treatment process.
Now that you know some of the innovative treatments in clinical trials for glaucoma treatment, you can be sure that you are getting the best possible treatments now and in the future.
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