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Early predictor for glaucoma identified

Certain changes in blood vessels in the eye's retina can be an early warning for glaucoma, an eye disease that slowly robs people of their peripheral vision, a new 10-year study has found.

health and fitness Updated: Jan 06, 2013 23:41 IST

Certain changes in blood vessels in the eye's retina can be an early warning for glaucoma, an eye disease that slowly robs people of their peripheral vision, a new 10-year study has found.

Using diagnostic photos and other data from the Australian Blue Mountains Eye Study, researchers showed that patients who had abnormally narrow retinal arteries when the study began were also those who were most likely to have glaucoma at its 10-year end point.

If confirmed by future research, this finding could give ophthalmologists a new way to identify and treat those who are most vulnerable to vision loss from glaucoma.

Open-angle glaucoma (OAG), the most common form of the disease, affects nearly 60 million people worldwide.

Vision loss occurs when glaucoma damages the optic nerve, the part of the eye that transmits images from the retina to the brain.