British researchers led by David Garway-Heath, MD, of the Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology in London, tracked outcomes for 516 people newly diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma.
The researchers found that the use of latanoprost – a form of prostaglandin analogue eye drops – reduced the risk of vision loss in these patients by more than 50% over two years, compared to those who received an inactive placebo.
“Medication to lower raised eye pressure has been used for decades as the main treatment for open-angle glaucoma to delay progressive vision loss,” Garway-Heath said in a journal news release. “But, until now, the extent to which the most frequently prescribed class of pressure-lowering drugs (prostaglandin analogues) have a protective effect on vision was not known,” he said. “Our findings offer solid proof to patients and practitioners that the visual deterioration caused by glaucoma can be reduced using this treatment.”
The study was funded in part by Pfizer, the manufacturer of latanoprost.