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AAOpt 2023: A renaissance of new glaucoma treatment options


As new treatment options continue to enter the glaucoma space, clinicians can provide the best care to each individual patient.

Mitch Ibach, OD, FAAO, with Vance Thompson Vision, caught up with Optometry Times®' during the 2023 American Academy of Optometry annual meeting in New Orleans to talk about some recent glaucoma treatment options.

Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Mitch Ibach, OD, FAAO:

Hi, I'm Mitch Ibach. I'm an optometrist with Vance Thompson Vision in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

I'm here at Academy 2023 for Optometry in New Orleans. And one of the things I'm really excited about is the launch of Thea Pharma's Iyuzeh. This is the first and only FDA approved, commercially available, preservative free latanoprost for our patients.

If we think through the numbers, in the US, we have over 3 million Americans with glaucoma. We have over 16 Americans with diagnosed dry disease; I bet you can imagine that these can be intertwined. And we have patients with glaucoma who are being diagnosed, as well as being treated, who have pre existing and/or exacerbated dry eye because of topical glaucoma medications.

And so for my patients who are already struggling with dry eye disease, for maybe who are worried about preservatives going on to the eye—they've had some adverse events or side effects from previous topical glaucoma medications that they've taken. Or maybe it's a patient with neurotrophic keratoconjunctivitis, this can be a real win for some of these patients to be able to lessen their preservative load and their topical glaucoma medications.

One of the best and my favorite things about glaucoma treatments is we're kind of undergoing this renaissance of new treatment options and modalities for our patients. And so I always think of: treating glaucoma revolves around lowering interocular pressure. We have 4 main modalities: we have topical glaucoma drops, we have drug delivery devices, we have laser trabeculoplasty, and we have glaucoma surgeries. And really 3 of 4—maybe 4 of 4—of these categories continues to gain more options.

We have new drug delivery devices that are coming. We have new minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries. We have new topical glaucoma medications, as well.

And so all of these are really allowing practitioners more opportunities to customize the glaucoma treatment profile based on the patient that's in front of you.

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