Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases united under one name. Ultimately, glaucoma threatens sight by damaging the optic nerve, at the back of the eye which carries light signals from the eye to the brain. However, our knowledge of how and when glaucoma damages nerve cells remains imprecise.
Glaucoma is mostly linked to chronic fluid pressure increases inside the eye, referred to as elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), which may be caused by the eye’s inability to drain properly.
Besides IOP increases, there most likely are other factors that lead to glaucoma.
BrightFocus is funding studies on genetics, more sensitive methods to study onset of glaucoma, as well as projects to develop pioneering research models to further understand glaucoma. New understanding will lead to new therapies.
Explore More of Our 360 Approach
- New Ways to Predict Progression and Treat Glaucoma
- Controlling Eye Pressure in New Ways
- Imaging and Exploring the Eye-Brain Connection
- Protecting and Regenerating the Optic Nerve
New Ways to Predict Progression and Treat Glaucoma
Currently approved treatments for glaucoma primarily focus on eye pressure. Numerous therapies exist to lower eye pressure effectively; however, the bulk of them (eyedrops and surgeries) require skill and consistency to achieve results.
Easier methods are needed, as well as new therapies to address other underlying causes of glaucoma besides intraocular pressure (IOP).
Controlling Eye Pressure in New Ways
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, gets clogged and backed up.
Imaging and Exploring the Eye-Brain Connection
Eye changes associated with glaucoma contribute to tiny blind spots, known as “visual field defects,” which, if they worsen, might advance to vision loss and blindness. The chance of that, and the speed at which it happens, vary greatly from person to person.
Early diagnosis is key, and much progress has been made in imaging the eye to detect the tiniest changes that may precede glaucoma.
Protecting and Regenerating the Optic Nerve
Unlike most cells in the body, which repair themselves, the nerve cells providing our vision do not regrow once damaged.
BrightFocus is supporting research into ways of protecting cells threatened by advancing glaucoma as well as regenerating those cells after vision loss.