14th of December 2021

What are the latest advances in glaucoma?

What are the latest advances in glaucoma?

Research in the field of glaucoma is steadily advancing as new technologies continue to be developed to assist with glaucoma treatment. There are new discoveries in surgical devices, novel medications, artificial intelligence (AI)-based technology for detecting glaucoma and new associations detected between glaucoma and other diseases. 

Scientists and clinicians are working around the world, collaborating and conducting careful research to design and evaluate new technologies, while also collaborating with others in commerce and industry to bring them into clinical practice. 

As an experienced Ophthalmologist in Melbourne, A/Professor Simon Skalicky is constantly keeping up to date with the latest advances in improving glaucoma treatment. Here are some of the recent advances in glaucoma treatment to know about. 

Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery 

New options for glaucoma surgery offer the promise of reduced dependence on topical drops. By making surgery for glaucoma safer and more predictable, we are able to offer glaucoma surgery earlier in the disease course, and through earlier intervention we have a better chance of saving your sight. 

A variety of surgical devices are available for use within glaucoma treatment. These include devices that precisely control drainage of fluid from inside of the eye to the tissues around the eye for more advanced glaucoma, and devices that can be inserted at the time of cataract surgery to help further reduce the eye pressure in earlier glaucoma. 

As our use and research into these devices evolves, we are learning better when to use them and when not to use them for glaucoma treatment, while also continuing in our efforts to make better, safer, and more predictable devices for the benefit of people with glaucoma.

Vitamin B3 

While still awaiting formal clinical trial evaluation, this promising molecule has been shown to keep optic nerves healthy in glaucoma. 

Vitamin B3 appears to offer nerve cells protection against oxidative stress, keeping optic nerves healthier when under stress from raised pressure. 

Numerous lab-based and clinical studies have indicated a welcome protective role for vitamin B3 in glaucoma. A large randomised clinical trial that will take place in Melbourne over the next few years, will tell exactly how effective this vitamin is. 

Links between glaucoma and lifestyle

In recent years much work has been done to find the links between glaucoma and a number of common diseases and lifestyle choices. 

As we understand more closely about the influence of lifestyle and influential factors on glaucoma, we can help reduce our glaucoma risk. 

Diabetes, excessive caffeine intake, allergen exposure, some yoga positions, and tight swimming goggles are just some of the examples of risks for glaucoma, while a nutritious diet, meditation, normal sleep rhythms and regular exercise are protective and can help prevent need for glaucoma treatment.

Novel means of vision testing 

Assessing an individual’s peripheral vision is crucial, as this can be affected by glaucoma. This vision test is currently performed with office-based specialised machinery. 

Much work is being done to improve the means of assessing peripheral vision, potentially at home and with devices and computers that are easier to access.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used to improve diagnostic accuracy of traditional scans and vision tests in glaucoma. This should lead to earlier and more accurate diagnosis, saving sight by early detection.

New classes of topical medications

New classes of topical medications (glaucoma eye drops) are continuously being evaluated. New classes of medication (such as the Rho Kinase inhibitors) might offer hope to people who are otherwise intolerant to the current topical drops available and ensure they get the treatment they need. 

For an Ophthalmologist in Melbourne experienced with glaucoma treatment, book your consultation with A/Professor Simon Skalicky today.