Glaucoma is a severe disease of the eye in which the fluid pressure rises. If left without proper medical attention, it may result in vision loss or worst blindness. That’s due to the permanent damage to the optic nerve. This type of eye disease is very common, especially among older adults.
The most common symptom of this eye disease is severe eye pain, and possible treatment may include surgery or non-surgery operation. However, over the years, research finds a lot of possible medications to treat glaucoma. The integration of technology into the medical field helps a lot in speeding up the process of medical assistance and its development. Below are some latest innovations in the glaucoma medication field.
Rhopressa or AR-13324
Glaucoma in the form of elevated IOP or intraocular pressure is mainly a disease of the outflow system through the trabecular meshwork or the outlet of the inner eye fluid. Past medication aims to enhance the trabecular flow; however, this technique results in some local ocular side effect. That is why today scientists are developing a drug that can reduce the pressure of the eye by enhancing uveoscleral or eye fluid outflow. Hence, there’s the creation of Rhopressa. Though FDA does not yet approve the new drug, its application is already pending for submission.
Aerie Pharmaceuticals developed the drug. It seeks an indication of “once a day” use of the drug to minimize internal eye pressure. However, according to the pharmaceutical company, the drug may work well only if it is combined with the use of prostaglandin analog (a type of hypotensive medication that treats glaucoma). The Rhopressa is still under development, but if it does prove that it can reduce episcleral venous pressure or internal eye pressure, it will open the gateway towards new therapeutic possibilities.
Aside from AR-13324 or Rhopressa, there is a second TM-targeted drug which works through a different molecular mechanism than Rhopressa. It is known asTrabodenoson. The new drug affects the inner eye outflow which is the actual source of the disease. It takes the treatment back to a therapeutic target and tends to point towards a different patient population. Patients with more elevated eye pressure are advised to take the drug.
The Trabodenoson is an adenosine A1 receptor agonist used to create a biological response to glaucoma. It helps in boosting up the outflow through regulating the trabecular meshwork cell production of matrix metalloproteinases (the enzymes responsible for normal tissue turnovers). Trabodenoson targets to drain better and reverse the tissue area of the eye for it to alleviate the pressure.
MicroPulse P3 Cyclophotocoagulation
It is a new type of MIGS or minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. Traditionally, techniques of common glaucoma surgeries burn the ciliary body, but with MicroPulse P3’s slow application of laser energy, it slowly slices into the cell tissue. Though the pulse, created by the laser, heats up, it does not burn the eye tissue. It is due to an integrating pause between each pulse.
MicroPulse helps the eye tissue to have time to cool off and not burn in the process. This procedure allows the eye tissue to change without a single damage. However, this method remains under development and requires FDA approval. Since no superior data support its validity as a proper treatment for glaucoma, it remains under observation and out of public reach.
Glaucoma is most often referred to as a silent thief of sight. The risk of having the condition may increase if the patient experiences thyroid problems. It can get worse with aging as well. But with proper medical treatment and well-assessed procedures, there’s a sure way of getting rid of it.