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Participants sought for Glaucoma Treatment Trial

image-tools (38)The Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) is seeking eligible participants for an Australia-wide trial of two different treatments for glaucoma.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of irreversible vision loss in Australia, affecting one in 10 people over the age of 80.

CERA’s Clinical Trials Coordinator, Jessica Brennan, said the two year trial will compare the safety, effectiveness, quality of life and cost effectiveness of laser and topical medication (eye drops) treatments.

“While eye drops are currently considered the standard initial treatment for glaucoma, laser is increasingly being used as an initial therapy in Australia,” Ms Brennan said.

“Drops are effective, but can have some side effects including irritation and redness occurring in the eyes, eyelashes and lids. They can also be costly and are not suitable for everyone.

“Another major problem with drops is that people can stop taking them because they irritate, but don’t realise their glaucoma is worsening in the meantime”.

The trial is focused on patients over 35 years old who have been diagnosed with glaucoma but not yet treated. Glaucoma is usually first detected by an optometrist, and then a referral made to see an Ophthalmologist.

The trial needs to recruit 400 patients Australia wide.  200 will be randomised to receive eye drops, and 200 to receive laser. Patients will be seen at 6 monthly intervals for a period of 2 years.

The Principal Investigator of this National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded project is Associate Professor Ecosse Lamoureux.

To participate, or receive more information on this study, please contact Jessica Brennan at (03) 9929 8075 or email jbrennan@unimelb.edu.au