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Doctors May Be Able To Postpone Treatment In Some Glaucoma Patients.

HealthDay (3/8, Dotinga) reported that, according to a study published in the March issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology, eye doctors “can sometimes wait before treating those at risk of developing” glaucoma. After tracking “1,636 people with higher than normal eye pressure” and randomizing them either to observation or to medication, the researchers discovered that the “risk of developing glaucoma was 16 percent” in the group receiving medication and 22 percent in group under observation. An accompanying editorial suggested that patients “with high eye pressure should ask their doctor whether they’re at high risk or if they can just be monitored.”
However, those “patients at high risk for glaucoma because of ocular hypertension appeared to benefit from early drug treatment,” MedPage Today (3/8, Gever) reported. In fact, “among patients in the highest tertile of risk scores…28% of those started on topical medication for ocular hypertension developed primary open-angle glaucoma (95% CI 22% to 34%), compared with 40% of those who went untreated for eight years before beginning medication (95% CI 33% to 46%).”