Experts are testing a new laser eye surgery device that is designed to improve upon the current treatment for glaucoma.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the western world and involves a build-up of pressure in the eyeball, eventually damaging the optic nerve and leading to tunnel vision and loss of sight.
Professor Ehud Assia, director of ophthalmology at Meir Hospital in Israel, explained: "Glaucoma is a serious problem that starts to cause nerve damage to people without them realising that anything is happening to their eyesight."
Current treatments can cause serious complications, such as infection and the formation of cataracts, but the new system is less invasive and should help to make the procedure quicker and safer.
The laser, called OTS134, penetrates the eye wall to a depth of around 95 per cent, leaving a thin layer intact and preventing complications such as eyeball collapse.
Professor Assia continued: "There are drug treatments that can reduce the intra-ocular pressure, but that means life-long treatment involving two or three kinds of eye drops three times a day."
The professor added that the laser is a promising tool and revealed that a series of human trials have proven successful.
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Treatment news : 17/09/2007