Eye implant developed at Stanford could lead to better glaucoma treatments

Lowering internal eye pressure is currently the only way to treat glaucoma. A tiny eye implant developed by Stephen Quake’s lab could pair with a smartphone to improve the way doctors measure and lower a patient’s eye pressure. 

For the 2.2 million Americans battling glaucoma, the main course of action for staving off blindness involves weekly visits to eye specialists who monitor – and control – increasing pressure within the eye.

Bio-engineer Stephen Quake and collaborators have developed an eye implant that could help stave off blindness caused by glaucoma. Now, a tiny eye implant developed at Stanford could enable patients to take more frequent readings from the comfort of home. Daily or hourly measurements of eye pressure could help doctors tailor more effective treatment plans.

Internal optic pressure (IOP) is the main risk factor associated with glaucoma, which is characterized by a continuous loss of specific retina cells and degradation of the optic nerve fiber. The mechanism linking IOP and the damage is not clear, but in most patients IOP levels correlate with the rate of damage. Reducing IOP to normal or below-normal levels is currently the only treatment available for glaucoma. This requires repeated measurements of the patient’s IOP until the levels stabilize. The trick with this…..
Read more:http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/august/eye-implant-glaucoma-082514.html