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Feature Article

Glaucoma: advances in assessment and therapy

Timothy V Roberts

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Abstract

Recent advances in diagnostic techniques have improved the early detection of glaucoma, and new medications have increased the therapeutic options for patients with this condition.

Key Points

  • New diagnostic techniques, including computerised perimetry and nerve fibre analyses, have been developed to detect glaucoma at an earlier stage; their accuracy is being evaluated.
  • Several new classes of drugs have been released increasing the therapeutic options for glaucoma, including selective 2-adrenergic agonists, prostaglandin analogues and topical carbonic anhydrase inhibitors.
  • Glaucoma research has moved away from drugs that protect the optic nerve by reducing intraocular pressure and is now focusing on pressure-independent agents.
  • Poor compliance with glaucoma medication remains a major problem; GPs have an important role in reinforcing the treating ophthalmologist’s advice and helping to improve compliance.

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