Glaucoma Treatment: Can Glaucoma Be Cured?

Are you wondering if there is a cure for glaucoma?

While it is not possible to currently cure glaucoma, there are actually a variety of different treatment options for managing the progression of this disease.

Some people may require medications, while others may require surgery. 

However, treatment options are constantly evolving and improving.

So while a cure may not be currently available, scientists and doctors are working hard to find new and better ways to manage this disease. 

In this post, we will explain everything there is to know about the future of glaucoma, including what doctors are doing now to control its progression.

We’ll also provide some information on how new treatments like gene therapy might be able to help glaucoma patients in the near future.

Ready to get started?

Let’s go!

But First…What Is Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition that affects the optic nerve, which can cause vision loss over time.

 This disease develops when the pressure inside of the eye becomes too high, leading to damage to the nerve. 

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, over time, the optic nerve is damaged by increased intraocular pressure, leading to glaucomatous visual field loss.

While there are a number of different types of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma is by far the most common type of this condition. 

So, if you are diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma before visual impairment, it makes sense to reduce or lower your intraocular pressure with prescription eye drops or medications.

And if you are already blind or have severe visual field loss caused by this condition, treatment will likely not be able to restore your eyesight.

 But, with time, there is hope that this condition can be cured or managed more effectively with the help of new treatments.

The Future of A Cure For Glaucoma

While glaucoma is not treatable, research groups such as Catalyst for a Cure (CFC) continue to work hard to find scientific breakthroughs that can help stop its progression.

The research group is dedicated to studying different aspects of preserving the optic nerve as well as regenerating the damaged optic nerve to restore vision.

Thanks to their efforts, we will be able to preserve and restore vision more effectively in the future.

The Latest Research Findings

In addition to CFC research efforts, other research groups and universities worldwide are exploring more research avenues that may lead to new treatments for glaucoma prevention. 

Genome-Wide Association Study of Glaucoma

A genome-wide association study of glaucoma is a type of gene mapping that can help to identify specific genes that lead to glaucoma. 

According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, this study helps researchers “identify genetic markers associated with disease risk” and determine if there is a link between glaucoma and genes.

The research compared the genetic information in 34,179 glaucoma patient groups to 349,321 non-glaucoma control individuals. 

This research identified 44 new candidate genes known as “gene loci,” with 83 participants that had previously reported loci demonstrating a solid link to glaucoma.

In addition, this study provided insight into the complex nature of the genes that cause glaucoma and how these genes interact with each other.

As a result, it will help researchers design better tests for identifying individuals at risk.

New Treatments & Therapies

Another area of interest for researchers is treatments and therapies that may be used in place of daily eye drops and surgical operations to slow down or prevent glaucoma from damaging nerve cells in the eye.

 So far, they have identified three possible treatments and therapies that may be effective.

They include:

Biannual Injections

One promising treatment developed by the Georgia Tech research team is using a biannual injection as an alternative to daily eye drops and surgery to reduce the intraocular pressure in the patient’s eyes.

The researchers believed that injecting a natural and biodegradable material twice a year to make a viscosity hydrogel — a water-absorbing crosslinked polymer structure that opens an alternative route to allow excess fluid to depart the eye more easily – might be useful.

The study was conducted on animals, and it found that the technique didn’t cause any inflammation or overly pressure down on the eye. 

Somewhat, it lowered intraocular pressure significantly for four months.

Currently, these researchers are attempting to extend the effect of these injections by modifying the polymer material — hyaluronic acid – in order to provide treatment benefits for at least six months to match up with many patients’ office visit schedules.

According to Mark Prausnitz, a professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech, the treatment would not jeopardize the current clinical procedures if administered every six months.

“We believe the injection could be done as an office procedure during routine exams that the patients are already getting. Patients may not need to do anything to treat their glaucoma until their next office visit.” Prausnitz says.

This means that the novel treatment may be available for glaucoma patients in any ophthalmology clinic without surgery or eye drops.

Anti-fibrotic Therapy

Another new treatment, which is currently at the preliminary stage of preclinical testing, involves antifibrotic therapy.

In recent studies done by University of Birmingham (UK) scientists, a new low molecular weight dextran-sulfate called ILB®, which is shown to be effective in treating open-angle glaucoma, may play an important part by reducing the formation of fibrotic debris in the trabecular meshwork, which is a part of the eye that drains fluid from it.

This study indicates that ILB® can reduce the matrix deposit in the trabecular meshwork. 

Also, ILB® can reduce filtration fraction in a dose-dependent manner, leading to the discovery of new anti-fibrotic therapies for the condition and the development of a topical alternative to avoid injection.

New Gene Therapy

Typically, this newly developed gene therapy procedure has been effective in reversing glaucoma-induced blindness.

The technique involves the altercation of retinal ganglion cells in the back of the eye to make them more resistant to the damage that causes cell death in glaucoma patients.

The study found that administering the Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) pathway alongside gene therapy can rescue retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) from damage-induced death in glaucoma models.

In an attempt to mimic that process in humans, researchers from Harvard Medical School tested the procedure on mice. 

They found that this gene therapy technique seemed promising as it slowed down and reversed optical nerve damage and loss of retinal ganglion cells in the mice with no retinal transplant.

Therefore, this new technique implies that regenerative medicine has unlocked another potential therapeutic option that may begin within two years if the findings are confirmed.

Latest Technology

Direct Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty

Typically, DSLT is a rapid non-contact automated, painless laser surgery done directly through the limbus without using gonioscopy.

This technology has been shown to successfully treat open-angle glaucoma by improving the quality of vision and increasing the fluid outflow from the eye, thus reducing intraocular pressure (IOP).

DURYST Bimatoprost Implant

DURYST is a unique intracameral implant containing bimatoprost, the first FDA-approved synthetic prostaglandin analog for reducing elevated intraocular pressure.

It has been proven effective in lowering intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucoma patients who have open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension (OHT).

This technique is an alternative to eye drops; therefore, it may be a good option for glaucoma patients who cannot tolerate conventional treatments such as eye drops, especially those with dry eyes.

The Key to Cure Is Early Detection

Generally speaking, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States after cataracts, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

 Approximately half a million Americans have lost their sight from glaucoma.

This makes early detection extremely critical to slow down or stop its progression before it causes irreversible blindness.

Therefore, you need to visit your ophthalmologist regularly for an annual comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.

In the same line, if you experience any problems with your vision or undergo changes in the appearance of your eyes, such as fine blood vessels appearing in the peripheral part of your eyes, contact an ophthalmologist immediately.

Treatment and prognosis will differ depending on the type and stage of glaucoma that you have and individual predisposing factors such as age, race, gender, family history of this disease, and other medical conditions.

A Note From Glaucoma Care

Glaucoma is a very serious eye disease that can result in permanent vision loss if left untreated.   It is crucial to visit your ophthalmologist regularly for comprehensive dilated eye exams to receive early detection and timely treatment to slow down the progression of glaucoma or even prevent it from getting worse.


Glaucoma News: Hope is on the Horizon (2021, April 12). Retrieved from,

Can Glaucoma Be Cured? Retrieved from,

Detect Glaucoma Early To Protect Vision (2015, January). Retrieved from,

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