Glaucoma disease progression may be determined with smart contact lenses: Study

By: Emily Lunardo | Eye Health | Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 02:00 PM

glaucoma disease progression and detection through smart contact lensesGlaucoma disease progression may be determined with smart contact lenses. The novelty contacts have a built-in sensor that can help predict glaucoma progression. Certain patterns of electrical signals are emitted from the lenses, correlating with a faster progression of glaucoma.

Largely characterized by high eye pressure, glaucoma still remains the leading cause of blindness. Although checking intraocular pressure in a patient can help determine the state of eye health at the moment, it does not allow to monitor the progression of the disease. Also, eye pressure tests cannot be completed at certain times of the day when eye pressure rises, for example, at night.

The researchers tested 40 patients who were receiving treatment for glaucoma. The patients wore the smart contact lenses for 24 hours – even while asleep. Changes in eye pressure were continuously monitored.

The researchers found that patients with steeper spikes in eye pressure recorded overnight and a greater number of signal peaks revealed faster glaucoma progression.

Study author C. Gustavo De Moraes said, “What we see in these measurements is a signature that indicates which glaucoma patients will get worse and which are relatively stable, which you can’t do with a one-time eye pressure measurement. This could be very useful if you want to know whether a new medication is working for a patient. You can see how their eye is reacting to the therapy in a much more meaningful way.”

Early detection and prevention to slow glaucoma progression

Glaucoma is a condition that affects the eyes. Glaucoma can be quite serious and even result in blindness. The older you become, the more prone you are to developing glaucoma. Patients suffering from glaucoma typically range from 45 to 64 years of age.

Glaucoma can strike without warning – and without symptoms. There is no cure for glaucoma, so it’s important to take the necessary steps to prevent it.

The first step is to undergo regular eye exams, so your doctor can detect any early changes in eye pressure. At this point, your doctor can suggest other prevention methods to help relieve eye pressure.

Diet plays a large role in eye health. Knowing what foods to eat can keep your eyes healthy. Some star foods that help maintain eye health include citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens, and nuts. Stick with nutrient-dense foods that can provide you with the necessary vitamins and minerals to maintain eye health.

It’s also important to stay clear of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and foods that you are allergic to as they can increase intraocular pressure and deplete your body’s stock of nutrients.

Here are a few other things you can do to prevent eye glaucoma:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Keep your blood pressure healthy
  • Don’t smoke
  • Exercise daily, but avoid activities that increase eye pressure, for example, yoga or anything involving inversion
  • Minimize your exposure to outdoor sunlight – wear sunglasses or hats
  • Get regular eye exams and ensure your prescription is up to date

By following these tips along with your doctor’s recommendations, you can have greater success in lowering your risk of glaucoma and preserving your vision.


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Sources:

http://www.aao.org/newsroom/news-releases/detail/smart-contact-helps-predict-disease-progression
http://www.brightfocus.org/glaucoma/prevention-and-risk-factors
http://www.belmarrahealth.com/natural-remedies-for-glaucoma/

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