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Relieving Eye Pressure May Slow Glaucoma

Relieving Eye Pressure May Slow Glaucoma

08/09/10

MONDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with glaucoma who have more rapid visual field change than other patients may benefit from a reduction of pressure within the eyeball, new research suggests.

In the study, 216 patients with open-angle glaucoma were given standard treatment for controlling intraocular pressure (a targeted reduction of 30 percent or more) and were followed up with re-examination every four months. Patients whose glaucoma continued to progress received treatment to achieve an additional 20 percent or more reduction in intraocular pressure.

Being older and having abnormal levels of anticardiolipin antibody (which is an antibody directed against a certain protein in the body) were associated with a more rapid rate of visual change. But reducing intraocular pressure appeared to slow the rate at which some of these patients experienced declines in visual field, the study authors found.

While the degree of this slowed rate of decline may not have been clinically significant for some patients, the difference could be significant over 20 years, according to Balwantray C. Chauhan, of Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and colleagues in the Canadian Glaucoma Study Group.

"In younger patients with more advanced damage, this difference is likely to be important," Chauhan and colleagues wrote.

The study was released online Aug. 9 in advance of publication in the October print issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

More information

The U.S. National Eye Institute has more about glaucoma.

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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