A Look at What’s New: New Treatments in Eye Disorders

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In this three-part series, we will explore new advances in the optical world.  This week, we’re looking at three new ways doctors and scientists are treating eyes.  To take a look back at the other articles in the series,  New Discoveries in Eye Science and New Tools in Eye Health.     

Eye Drops for Farsightedness.  

Have you ever noticed that the older you get the further out you need to hold your book to keep the blurriness at bay?  This common sight problem is a result of the aging lens becoming less flexible.  

The historic antidote: glasses or contacts!  And on occasion, corrective surgery.  But another option is about to hit the market: eye drops. [1]  So far, the studies on these drops have shown vision improvement comparable to reading glasses.  The effects last anywhere from four hours up to several years.  

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Glaucoma Breakthrough.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness, worldwide, and the rates of those suffering with the disease are only predicted to grow.  Thankfully, in the last couple years, two promising new medications have aided glaucoma patients.  While an array of methods—including surgery, lasers, and eye drops— have been used to fight this progressive illness, this is the first breakthrough in treatment options since 1998.  

Glaucoma patients generally have high eye pressure, or intraocular pressure (IOP), which damages vision. Both Vyzulta and Rhopressa are eye drops which reduce intraocular pressure in new and effective ways. [2]

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First Ever, Thyroid-Eye Disease Medication.  

Graves Disease is currently the leading autoimmune disorder in the US, as well as the leading cause of hyperthyroidism.  Unfortunately, around a quarter of those who have this disorder will also develop Thyroid Eye Disease, a condition where inflammation occurs behind the eye.  Symptoms can include facial disfigurement, double vision, discomfort, and pain.  

In the last few days, however, the FDA has approved the first drug marketed to treat Thyroid Eye Disease (TED).  Tepezza is given in a series of infusions and was shown, in clinical studies, to significantly reduce symptoms. [3]

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Half of Americans have less than optimal vision. [4]  Fourteen million people in the US have significant vision problems.  And every year, tens of billions of dollars are spent on vision treatment.  

But every year, new discoveries and advances are being made to explore the eye and prevent and treat vision problems.  If you feel that one of these new treatment options discussed may be helpful for you, or perhaps have questions about other scientific advances, contact your optometrist for more information!

 

 

 

 


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