These results should be put into perspective, according to Anders Heijl, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at Sweden's Malmö University Hospital and first author of the report.
"Although the study closely checked for possible glaucoma progression, many of the patients remained stable over time, even those in the control group," Dr. Heijl
"On the other hand, despite the clear effect of treatment, glaucoma progressed in as many as 30 percent of treated patients after four years."
said that the time it took for glaucoma to progress varied greatly among patients and was sometimes rather short, even in treated patients.
"This shows that in many patients with rapidly progressing glaucoma, the treatment used in this study was insufficient to halt progression of the disease," Dr. Heijl
emphasized that treatment for early, newly diagnosed glaucoma should be individualized and carefully balanced.
Before deciding on the best treatment option, eye care professionals should consider several unique patient factors, such as age, eye pressure levels, and disease severity.
"The study findings support the medical community's growing contention that glaucoma treatment should be tailored to the individual needs of the patient," Dr. Heijl
A, Leske MC, Bengtsson B, Hyman L, Bengtsson B, Hussein M, Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial Group
Reduction of Intraocular Pressure and Glaucoma Progression: Results From The Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial