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Glaucoma

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that affects millions of patients worldwide.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of ocular diseases in which the optic nerve is injured, leading to the loss of the peripheral visual field. Glaucoma can eventually lead to blindness. There is no treatment to restore sight loss caused by glaucoma but treatments such as eye drops and laser surgery can help prevent sight loss from happening. Glaucoma is frequently linked to abnormally high pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure, IOP), due to blockage or malfunction of the eye’s drainage system.

In 2015, Primary Open Angle Glaucoma was estimated to affect more than 57 million people globally.1

Glaucoma symptoms and causes

In the most common form of glaucoma (Primary open angle glaucoma) abnormally high IOP does not cause any symptoms itself, however it can lead to optic nerve damage and gradual vision loss if left untreated.

In the healthy eye, a small amount of aqueous humor (the liquid present inside the eye ball) is continually produced, circulates and flows out of the eye to maintain a constant eye pressure. In glaucoma, the aqueous humor does not flow out of the eye properly, leading to a fluid pressure build up in the eye that will, over time, cause damage to the optic nerve fibres. The main risk factors for developing glaucoma are age (over 40), African-Caribbean ethnic background and family history of glaucoma.

Glaucoma treatment options

Current medications are targeted at reducing high IOP to slow the progression of the disease. Numerous eye drops are available to either decrease the amount of fluid in the eye or improve its flow out of the eye. Unfortunately, many patients with glaucoma do not adhere to medication due a variety of reasons including the lack of symptoms.2,3

Several large trials have demonstrated that reducing IOP can slow, but not stop, the progression of visual field loss.4,5 A significant proportion of patients with elevated IOP require more than one medication to maintain their IOP within target levels.6,7  In addition to prescribed medications, add-on treatments are also available which may work alongside the prescribed treatment and offer beneficial effects. One example is COQUN®, an add-on glaucoma treatment by VISUfarma, which contains an antioxidant called Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 is found naturally in the body and has protective effects in the eye but the amount decreases as we age. Topical CoQ10, used alongside IOP lowering drops, may further help to protect the RGCs from dying.

References

  1. Kapetanakis VV et al. Br J Ophthalmol. 2016;100(1):86-93.
  2. Newman-Casey PA, Weizer JS, Heisler M, Lee PP, and Stein JD. Systematic review of educational interventions to improve glaucoma medication adherence. Semin Ophthalmol. 2013 May;28(3):191-201.
  3. Waterman H, Evans JR, Gray TA, Henson D, and Harper R. Interventions for improving adherence to ocular hypotensive therapy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Apr 30;4:CD006132.
  4. Wahl J. Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study (CIGTS). Ophthalmologe. 2005;102(3):222-226.
  5. Anderson DR. Normal Tension Glaucoma Study (NTGS). Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2003;14(2):86-90.
  6. Sambhara D and Aref AA. Glaucoma management: relative value and place in therapy of available drug treatments. Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2014 Jan;5(1):30-43.
  7. Bettin P and Di Matteo F. Glaucoma: present challenges and future trends. Ophthalmic Res. 2013;50(4):197-208.
VISU/UK/CQN/0013 Date of preparation: March 2019

 

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COQUN®

Add-on treatment to antihypertensive glaucoma therapy
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