Glaucoma Study is Simply Visionary

Older glaucoma patients experience more rapid visual field loss

(RxWiki News) Glaucoma patients who are older or have abnormal anticardiolipin-antibody levels experience more rapid visual field change, according to a new study. (Anticardiolipin antibodies are directed against certain proteins in the body.)

Modestly reducing intraocular pressure appears to delay this visual-field change rate.

Researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, studied 216 open-angle glaucoma patients and followed up with a standardized protocol for controlling intraocular pressure. (In glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure damages the optic nerve and causes gradual vision loss, or visual field deterioration.)

The researchers found those with confirmed progression of glaucoma, according to changes in their visual fields, received an additional 20 percent or greater reduction in intraocular pressure under the treatment protocol. Patients were re-examined every four months.

Females who exhibited higher follow-up intraocular pressures were not associated with more rapid visual-field loss, but in those who were older and with abnormal levels of anticardiolipin antibodies, this link was determined.

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Review Date: 
December 29, 2010