MSU Researchers Develop Glaucoma Monitoring Device
By: SCOTT POHL
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness behind cataracts, but it’s treatable with early detection. Researchers at Michigan State University are developing a device that could help doctors caring for glaucoma patients know when it’s time to act.
It’s the noon hour, and patients are coming and going to see Doctors like Sonia Rana at L.O. Eye Care. About 80-percent of her practice is with glaucoma patients, upwards of a thousand patients a year. She describes glaucoma as a disease that causes damage to the optic nerve. “What happens is the optic nerve can’t handle the pressure that the eye has,” Dr. Rana explains. “It starts to atrophy, and as a result of the thinning of the optic nerve, you start to lose vision, usually your peripheral vision first. Then, it comes into your central vision, and that’s permanent vision loss.”
Dr. Rana says there are a couple of ways to think about what causes the buildup of pressure inside the eye. She compares the eye to a sink with a plugged drain. Either the drain can’t handle the flow of liquid, or the “faucet” is producing more liquid than the drain can deal with.
Dr. Sonia Rana treats hundreds of glaucoma patients every year. L.O. Eye Care is a WKAR underwriter.
Monitoring the pressure inside the eye is important and can lead to several treatment methods, including medication, laser procedures and surgery. Such monitoring requires a visit to the office, and these tests only give you results for that moment. MSU researchers, however, are working on a device they think will work away from the doctor’s office.
Hossein Kouhani is a graduate research assistant in the MSU Department of Electrical Engineering. He’s part of a team developing a device they hope will help save the vision of glaucoma patients.…..
Source: Public Media from Michigan State University