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New contact lens delivers glaucoma meds

New contact lens delivers glaucoma meds

Tuesday 28 January 2014

As an alternative to eye drops, researchers have developed a special contact lens that can be placed into the eye in order to slowly release medication to combat glaucoma.

In a suitable news story for Glaucoma Awareness Month, a research team have reported on an innovative way of getting medications safely and effectively to the eye to treat cases of the eye condition. Glaucoma is a term that describes a group of eye conditions that affect vision. Glaucoma often affects both eyes, usually in varying degrees. One eye may develop glaucoma quicker than the other.

Glaucoma is commonly treated by using eye drops. Eye drops are used to lower pressure within the eye. However, using eye drops regularly can be a challenge. Furthermore, while the drops can minimize further vision loss, they cannot repair vision that's already lost. Now a solution is at hand: a special contact lens. Through laboratory experiments, the contact lens, which can also correct vision, releases the eyesight-saving medication at a steady rate for up to a month. The medication is called latanoprost (a topical medication used for controlling the progression of glaucoma or ocular hypertension by reducing pressure).

So far the lens has only been assessed on animals. The research team hope to carry out clinical trials using people in the near future.

The research was led by Joseph Ciolino, M.D, from Boston Stepchildren Hospital., an eye and Ear cornea specialist. The findings have been published in the journal Biomaterials. The paper is titled "In vivo performance of a drug-eluting contact lens to treat glaucoma for a month".

Sources:

  1. Digital Journal:
    Glaucoma Awareness Month.

Label:

Glaucoma

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