Controlling Eye Pressure in New Ways

A woman getting an eye exam.


Elevated eye pressure, or intraocular pressure (IOP), is present in most forms of glaucoma. This can happen when the fluid that constantly bathes the front of the eye, called aqueous humor, and cannot drain properly.

Normally aqueous humor fluid drains through a spongy tissue known as the trabecular meshwork and flows into Schlemm’s canal, a ring-like passageway that then delivers it to the bloodstream.

The trabecular meshwork is the eye’s main drainage channel and offers a certain resistance to the outflow of aqueous humor that is needed to maintain steady-state eye pressure.

Blockages and other forms of resistance to the outflow of aqueous humor can raise eye pressure. In addition, eye pressure can be affected by fluid volume, and by other factors such as trabecular meshwork stiffness, which is reported to be 20 times higher in individuals with glaucoma than in normal eyes.

BrightFocus funded grantees are discovering new ways to control eye pressure, decrease trabecular mesh stiffness, and are looking for other novel mechanisms that help regulate eye pressure.