(HealthDay News) – The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has reviewed the comparative evidence of medical, laser, and surgical treatments to inform their recommendations on screening for open-angle glaucoma. This Recommendation Statement is based on an evidence review published in the Feb. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

To compare the effectiveness of medical, laser, and surgical treatments in adults with open-angle glaucoma, Michael V. Boland, MD, PhD, from the Wilmer Eye Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues reviewed the literature and identified 379 eligible publications and 23 eligible systematic reviews.

High-level evidence was identified suggesting that medical, surgical, and laser treatments decreased intraocular pressure. Compared with no treatment, medical treatment and trabeculectomy decreased the risk of optic nerve damage and visual field loss. The comparative efficacy of different treatments was unclear, and the direct effect of treatment on visual impairment was uncertain. Harms of medical treatment were mainly local, such as ocular redness and irritation, while surgical treatment was associated with a small risk of more serious complications. The draft Recommendation Statement is available for comment from Feb. 19–March 18, 2013.

“Medical and surgical treatments for open-angle glaucoma lower intraocular pressure and reduce the risk for optic nerve damage over the short to medium term,” the authors write. “Which treatments best prevent visual disability and improve patient-reported outcomes is unclear.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and eye care companies.

Draft Recommendation Statement
Comment on Recommendations
Background Review