A recent Canadian study on the progression of glaucoma shows that age and abnormal anticardiolipin antibody levels are key factors in the decrease of sufferers’ field of vision. Anticardiolipin antibodies are associated with such diseases as lupus, syphilis, and antiphospholipid syndrome, but the presence of these antibodies does not necessarily indicate that a patient has any of these conditions. According to study authors, “While this finding (regarding anticardiolipin antibodies [ACA]) is significant, its practical implications are unclear as only 5.5% of the tested patients had abnormal ACA levels.”
Researchers also looked at changes in intraocular pressure (IOP) and determined that a modest IOP reduction in patients with progressing glaucoma significantly reduced the rate of visual field decline.
Another new study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology describes how a condition called corneal arcus, a condition in which a ring of lipids builds up around the cornea, may be responsible for increases in eye pressure.
Corneal arcus is associated with cardiovascular disease. Researchers can not explain why corneal arcus increases eye pressure, but say “There may be changes in biomechanical properties of the cornea in eyes with corneal arcus, as such mechanisms are emerging as important clinical variables that may affect intraocular pressure measurements.”