June 14, 2013
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Lack of frequent, regular monitoring leads to fast glaucoma progression even at early disease stages

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The lack of frequent, regular monitoring of glaucoma and IOP leads to poor control and fast progression, even at the earliest stages of the disease, according to a study.

The retrospective study analyzed a series of 150 patients with early stages of glaucoma. Quality of monitoring was classified in relation to number of visits per year, frequency of IOP control, use of neuroprotective treatment and compliance. IOP, visual acuity, visual fields and nerve fiber index were evaluated at 1 year and compared with baseline measurements, Oksana Vitovska, MD, PhD, said at the meeting of the European Society of Ophthalmology.

Oksana Vitovska, MD, PhD

Oksana Vitovska

"We found that patients who were seen no less than four times per year, had regular IOP measurements every 2 months, were supplemented with neuroprotective agents and were compliant to medical treatment had lower IOP, improved vision, and stable [nerve fiber index] and [visual fields] at 1 year," Vitovska said. "On the other hand, patients who were seen on average once per year, had IOP measured every 6 months and were not taking their medications as prescribed had decreased [visual acuity], increased IOP and measurable disease progression in 60% of the cases."

In the last decade, the incidence of glaucoma increased from 47 to 65 per 100,000 people, and in 2007, glaucoma was rated as the second cause of blindness in Ukraine.

"Early diagnosis, treatment compliance and close monitoring are the only way to preserve visual function," Vitovska said.

Disclosure: Vitovska has no relevant financial disclosures.