Researchers have developed a dissolvable eye implant that is smaller than a grain of sand as a new therapy for glaucoma.
The microscopic implant gradually releases a drug, bimatoprost, once it is implanted.
Glaucoma is currently treated with eye drops but a recent study found that 7 in 10 patients fail to use the drops as directed, which reduces the benefits and yet others don't tolerate the side effects of the eye drops. The eyedrops must be administered up to four times a day and they help lower the pressure within the eye by reducing the amount of fluid the eye makes.
In the two trials involving more than 1,100 participants, researchers noted that the implant reduced the pressure within the eye by up to a third over a three-month period, which is similar to eye drops. The effects of the implant last about eight months but a patient can only have one implanted but it is hoped that eventually, patients will be able to have replacements as needed.
The Durysta implant was just approved to be used in the United States and doctors hope that it will be easier for glaucoma patients to manage their condition.