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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Seniors' Health Channel
Reported November 15, 2012

It’s Out of Sight! No More Eye Drops for Glaucoma Patients?


(Ivanhoe Newswire) –A new device to help glaucoma patients could mean the end for eye drop medications!
Called the HYDRUS 1, it's no larger than an eyelash and has shown through a year 1 clinical trial to successfully control eye pressure in glaucoma patients. 
In the study researchers placed the new HYDRUS 1 mini-stent in 69 people with mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma, the most common type of glaucoma. 40 of the patients had the mini-stent implanted during cataract surgery while the other 29 patients had the HYDRUS 1 implanted without the cataract surgery. 
After the stent implantation surgery all of the patients’ intraocular pressure (pressure in the eye), also called IOP, was reduced to acceptable levels and there were no serious complications following the surgery. 
An even better result for the glaucoma patients was that 85% of the patients did not need eye drop medications to control their IOP during the six month follow-up. That means that the new device is capable of controlling eye pressure on its own.
This information could be very helpful to the millions of glaucoma patients world-wide since currently the only proven method to prevent vision loss is by reducing IOP. Whereas before the patients’ only options were eye drop medications or surgery to implant larger stents in the eye to control IOP, with the HYDRUS 1 the risk of infection or bleeding associated with some of the larger stents is much lower. 
Another benefit with the new device is that for people who may not be consistent with eye drops or who are resistant to the medications now have another option.  
"So far, mini-stents appear to have important advantages in that they allow us to treat open-angle glaucoma at earlier stages and with lower complication risk," Thomas W. Samuelson, M.D., a glaucoma specialist with Minnesota Eye Consultants was quoted as saying. 
Source: Presented at the 116th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, November, 2012 


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