Updated mindset needed to combat glaucoma successfully

New approaches to early detection, diagnosis, and management are essential to deal with the public health problem of glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Speakers at a continuing education symposium held during the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting discussed topics such as the glaucoma continuum, application of the results of large clinical trials, global risk assessment principles, and pharmacotherapy.

The program was jointly sponsored by Ophthalmology Times and the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Ophthalmics.

Moving along the continuum, the first detectable signs of glaucomatous injury often, but not always, occur in the RNFL and the optic disc. Not all patients will have standard visual field loss at this stage, and most will be completely unaware of their condition.

The concept of the glaucoma continuum has several important implications, Dr. Weinreb said.