In today’s world of value-based care and the trending patient-driven care models, it is more important than ever that optometrists embrace their roles as clinicians in healthcare teams. Optometry’s success in the 21st century will depend on advanced clinical outcome support in areas including refractions, contact lens services, medical management of anterior segment disease, retinal disorders, neuro-ophthalmic conditions, glaucoma and other ocular conditions.
The Laser in Glaucoma and Ocular Hypertension (LIGHT)1 study provides objective evidence that ODs should re-think the traditional approach of initiating topical medications first and considering surgical procedures later when topicals are no longer as effective.
Also, new advancements in laser trabeculoplasty make the procedure quicker and safer with greater patient satisfaction.
Likewise, the development of minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) procedures have changed conventional approaches of treatment.
Understanding surgical advancements in the care of the glaucoma patient is integral to clinical practice for the modern primary care optometrist.
Perspectives from the LIGHT study
In April 2019, the groundbreaking (LIGHT) study was published in The Lancet.
A European-based, multi-center, observer-masked, randomized, controlled trial—it provided evidence that selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) should be considered as a firstline treatment for many open-angle glaucoma (OAG) patients.
The study included 718 participants who were ocular hypertensive or had OAG. All had similar baseline ocular characteristics (central corneal thickness, intraocular pressure [IOP] and visual field mean deviations).
Some 356 participants were treated with 360-degree SLT treatment, while 362 were treated medically with a prostaglandin, beta blocker, alpha-2 agonist, and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors in a stepwise regimen.
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