Currently, 2.7 million people in the United States over the age of 40 have glaucoma, one of the leading causes of irreversible vision loss in the U.S. Still, understanding and awareness of glaucoma is relatively low, according to a 2013 American Optometric Association (AOA) survey of 1,000 Americans. Key findings include: [Read more…]
Glaucoma affects more than 60 million people worldwide, with three million cases of glaucoma in U.S. adults alone. And with no known cure, glaucoma remains the leading cause of irreversible vision loss. However, new research points to Vitamin B3 – also known as niacin or nicotinamide – as a potential way of preventing glaucoma, having been already proven effective as a treatment in mice. The findings were published in the journal Science. [Read more…]
When eye fluid, known as the aqueous humor, isn’t circulating properly, intraocular eye pressure (IOP) can increase. Normally, this fluid drains out of the eye through a mesh-like channel; however, if this channel is blocked, the fluid has nowhere to go, causing IOP to increase. [Read more…]
Glaucoma is currently the second leading cause of blindness globally, affecting 60 million people worldwide and 3 million Americans. But glaucoma can be managed and vision preserved if detected early. With early detection and vigilant treatment, your eye doctor – optometrist or ophthalmologist – can preserve vision 95% of the time or more. [Read more…]
Glaucoma is the result of increased intraocular pressure (IOP) and damage to the optic nerve, the nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. At first, glaucoma affects side or peripheral vision, which means a person can lose as much as 40% of his or her vision before even noticing a change. And vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible. This is why glaucoma has been nicknamed the “silent thief of sight” or the “sneak thief of sight.”
Glaucoma is currently the second leading cause of blindness globally, affecting 60 million people worldwide and 3 million Americans. However, researchers at Stanford University, in conjunction with the National Eye Institute and the Glaucoma Research Foundation, may be on the verge of a breakthrough.
Vision Lost and Found
New research by Andrew Huberman, PhD, an associate professor of neurobiology, points to the potential of regenerative therapies for damaged cells – help for glaucoma patients who have lost vision. In a study published in the scientific journal Nature Neuroscience, Dr. Huberman describes the success he has had with blind mice by conditioning injured optic nerve cells (retinal ganglion cells) to regenerate. The mice have actually regained partial eyesight. Dr. Huberman’s approach combines genetic and visual stimulation to enhance neural activity. The research team discovered that over time this approach was able to trigger the once-injured retinal cells to regrow optic nerve fibers along damaged pathways to the brain, resulting in the restoration of limited eyesight.
While it is still much too early to tell how this breakthrough will affect the glaucoma community, the initial results are exciting. Dr. Huberman’s research demonstrated for the first time that damaged retinal ganglion cells have the capacity to re-establish connections to the brain to restore vision.
“What they have shown in an animal model is that maybe we can restore vision by reconnecting the nerve cells that are damaged,” said Thomas M. Brunner, President and CEO of the Glaucoma Research Foundation. “Their research shows that there may be promise for people, where we think vision is permanently gone, to restore it.”
However, until this new approach is tested further, early detection and vigilant treatment – medication, lasers, or surgery – remain the best ways to prevent major vision loss from glaucoma. With such intervention vision can be preserved 95% of the time or more.
Glaucoma Treatment in Maryland
The Anne Arundel Eye Center, led by board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, is a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and cataracts. Staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals, AAEC’s state-of-the-art treatment center is dedicated to making the best eye care accessible to everyone.
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Samuel Boles, Dr. Nicole Kershner Regis, Dr. Kathryn Turner, and the eye care specialists here at AAEC by calling 410-224-2010. AAEC is staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals who will help guide you on your healing journey.
Sources: San Francisco Business Times, Nature Neuroscience, The Pew Charitable Trusts