Is cataract surgery the best way to lower IOP?

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Extraction of cataracts lowers intraocular pressure (IOP) to normal levels in glaucoma patients, and may in fact be a better treatment option than combined surgery, according to a study presented at this year's meeting of the Italian Society of Ophthalmology.

Extraction of cataracts lowers intraocular pressure (IOP) to normal levels in glaucoma patients, and may in fact be a better treatment option than combined surgery, according to data presented at this year's meeting of the Italian Society of Ophthalmology.

Richard L. Lindstrom, MD of Minnesota Eye Consultants, US conducted a retrospective review of 588 eyes undergoing cataract extraction with intraocular lens (IOL) implantation in patients with both glaucoma and cataract.

Dr Lindstrom observed IOP reduction in "most" cases. A mean decrease of 7 mmHg was observed in patients with IOP levels of 23–31 mmHg. Patients with higher preoperative IOP levels showed a greater post-surgical IOP reduction.

Dr Lindstrom concluded that the lens plays a more significant role in the development of glaucoma than had previously been acknowledged and that, therefore, except for in cases of severe glaucoma, cataract surgery alone is an appropriate treatment for lowering IOP.

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