Half as many cases of glaucoma progressing to blindness
Wednesday, February 26 2014 | 00 h 00 min | News
The probability of glaucoma leading to blindness has fallen by half since 1980, according to a study published in Ophthalmology.
In the last 34 years, changes to diagnostic criteria, new therapies, innovative tools and improved glaucoma management techniques have helped patients immensely. However, the Mayo Clinic study presented in the article was the first to evaluate the changes in the risks of glaucoma progression over an extended period of time and the incidence of blindness related to this illness.
After studying 857 cases of open-angle glaucoma diagnosed between 1965 and 2009 in Minnesota, the researchers found that the risks of going blind after 20 years was 25.8% for patients who were diagnosed between 1965 and 1980, compared to 13.5% for individuals diagnosed between 1981 and 2000.
Nonetheless, 15% of patients still end up going blind. “The percentage of people who continue to develop blindness is still too high,” says Dr. Arthur J. Sit, associate professor of ophthalmology at the Mayo Clinic. “This is generally due to a late diagnosis and to our incomplete understanding of glaucoma, so it is crucial to continue research into this devastating disease, and all eyecare professionals need to be vigilant in detecting it very early.”