British study may improve glaucoma assessment and treatment

October 24, 2011

Results from a recent scientific study in the U.K. may change the way that healthcare professionals measure eye pressure and allow them to assess the risk of glaucoma with greater accuracy. Glaucoma is the second most common cause of irreversible loss of vision worldwide.

The study, published in the & Visual Science journal (Intraocular Pressure and Corneal Biomechanics in an Adult British Population -- The EPIC-Norfolk Eye Study), reports the distribution and causes of -- medically termed intraocular pressure (IOP).

According to the authors, researchers have long recognized that the clinical methods of assessing eye pressure have suffered from some inaccuracies, specifically as a consequence of the physical properties of the cornea. The EPIC-Norfolk study presents the first large-scale population-based measures of corneal biomechanics.

"Previously, a rather crude measure -- central corneal thickness -- was used as an index of corneal biomechanics," said author Paul J. Foster, MD, PhD, FRCS(Ed), of the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology, "We used a device which generates measures of corneal biomechanics in conjunction with IOP and attempts to 'correct' IOP for corneal physical properties."

Recruited between 1993 and 1997, the EPIC-Norfolk cohort was made up of approximately 25,000 predominantly Caucasian men and women aged 40 to 79 living in eastern England. From 2006 to 2010, a health examination was conducted to objectively assess various physical, cognitive and ocular characteristics of participants. The research team used a non-contact tonometer, the Ocular Response Analyzer, to obtain eye pressure and corneal biomechanical data from 4,184 study participants, now aged 48 to 91 years.

"The accurate measurements of IOP and interpretation of the results in terms of what is seen in the 'normal' population are cardinal pieces of information when conduct routine eye examinations," said Foster. "We will be using our results to assess the validity of current treatment guidelines, with respect to levels of risk attributed to specific levels of IOP."

Explore further: Blinded by sFRP-1: A WNT signaling protein plays a key role in glaucoma

Related Stories

Physical fitness could have a positive effect on eye health

October 24, 2011

Physical activity may be what the doctor orders to help patients reduce their risk of developing glaucoma. According to a recently published scientific paper, higher levels of physical exercise appear to have a long-term ...

Recommended for you

New drug to fight fatal but neglected tropical disease

August 31, 2016

In a breakthrough for those infected by the parasites that cause sleeping sickness, a young Queensland researcher has identified a compound that kills the parasites in the lab without having any toxic effect on human cells.

Traces of Ebola virus linger longer than expected in semen

August 31, 2016

Initial data from a Liberian public health program show about 9 percent (38) of 429 male Ebola survivors had fragments of Ebola virus in their semen. Of those, 63 percent had semen samples that tested positive for Ebola fragments ...

Researchers discover a drug for a tropical disease

August 30, 2016

Researchers at the University of Georgia are working to find the fastest way possible to treat and cure human African trypanosomiasis, long referred to as sleeping sickness. By working to improve chemical entities already ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.