A new test that measures the functionality of the eye"s retinal nerve cells may help to detect glaucoma early and ultimately prevent blindness, according to researchers in the US.
Experts led by Dr Mitra Sehi and Dr David Greenfield from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller"s School of Medicine say that the test may also eventually help to evaluate how well glaucoma treatments are working.
As retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) become dysfunctional as glaucoma progresses, the test measures the electrical activity of a patient"s retina as he or she views an alternating pattern of black and white lines.
The patient"s" ability to track these lines is then used to detect whether they have glaucoma and, if so, how far advanced the condition is.
According to Dr Sehi, further studies will help to clarify the relationship between reduced intraocular pressure, another sign of glaucoma, and increased RGC response.
In other research, a recent study found that the common eye problem corneal arcus may be associated with elevated eye pressure.
by Emily Tait