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Scientists explore link between eye pressure and glaucoma

Experiments in rodents tested the effect of changing pressure within the eye using a tiny tube connected to a pressure sensor

Blue eye

Scientists have provided evidence that an increase in eye pressure results in the patterns of retina and optic nerve damage seen in glaucoma.

The study, which was published in Scientific Reports, involved implanting a small tube in the eyes of rats.
The tube was tethered to a pressure sensor and aqueous reservoir, which changed the pressure in the eye through injections of saline solution.

The pressure sensor took measurements every few seconds for up to two months.

Researchers observed that raising the pressure of the eye caused patterns of retina and optic nerve damage seen in human glaucoma.

Professor Chris Passaglia, from the University of South Florida, highlighted that the technique offers an advancement in glaucoma research.

“All studies to date have elevated pressure by blocking fluid outflow from the eye, whereas ours adds fluid as necessary to produce a desired pressure without damaging outflow pathways. Now researchers can have direct knowledge and control of eye pressure,” he said.

Professor Passaglia added that the development has the potential to aid research by removing experimental variability and enabling systematic studies of unanswered questions.