HealthWatch: Vyzulta: New Drug Treats Glaucoma


MIAMI, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — It’s a vision-robbing disease that affects up to 30 million Americans. Glaucoma starts slowly but if left untreated can cause blindness. Now a new medication is on the market and doctors say it’s making a dramatic difference! 
Ryan Hilliker was born with a rare disorder called Sturge-Weber syndrome.
Hilliker shared, “I came out I was half red so there was a little bit of shock there.” 
In addition to the trademark port-wine stain, Hilliker was diagnosed with glaucoma in his right eye. 
“The bottom 50 percent of the eye is just darkness; its blindness,” he said.
Nathan Klein, O.D.,  said, “Glaucoma is an eye disease; it’s typically when the pressure in the person’s eye gets too high.” 
Now for the first time in 20 years there’s something new on the market. It’s called Vyzulta by Bausch and Lomb. Doctors say it works by using two pathways to increase the drainage of fluid in the eye.
Klein said, “This is causing the pressure to come way down and stay way down.” 
Doctors say one drop of Vyzulta a day is showing a dramatic difference.
“We saw an additional 20 percent decrease in pressure after a week and a half,” Klein continued.
When Michael Sibble was diagnosed with glaucoma it kept him up at night. 
“Being blind and can’t see my kids, I didn’t sleep for like a month,” Sibble told Ivanhoe.
But since taking Vyzulta his eye pressure went from 17, near the high end of a normal range, to just 13, which is considered normal. Hilliker also saw a dramatic drop in just days.
Hilliker said, “With Vyzulta, the difference was in a five day period a massive drop in pressure from 23 to 14.” 
Saving his sight so he too can watch his kids grow up. 
Vyzulta was just approved by the FDA. Some drug store chains are offering a special deal through the Vyzulta website. If you have insurance, a two-month supply will cost about 30 dollars. Without insurance it’s about 70 dollars for a two month supply. 
Contributors to this news report include: Janna Ross, Field Producer; Judy Reich, Videographer; Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.
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REPORT:    MB #4399

BACKGROUND: Glaucoma~is a condition that causes damage to your~eye’s optic nerve and gets worse over time. It’s often linked to a buildup of pressure inside your~eye.~The increased pressure, called intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve which transmits images to your~brain. If the damage continues glaucoma can lead to permanent~vision loss. Without treatment, glaucoma can cause total permanent blindness within a few years. High fluid pressure inside your eye happens when the liquid in the front part of the eye doesn’t circulate the way it should. Normally, the fluid, called aqueous humor, flows out of your eye through a mesh-like channel. If this channel gets blocked, the liquid builds up. Less common causes include a blunt or chemical injury to your eye, severe eye infection, blocked~blood~vessels inside the eye, and inflammatory conditions. It usually affects both~eyes, but in some cases it can just be one eye. It tends to be inherited and may not show up until later in life. Most people with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain. It is recommended that you see your eye doctor regularly so he or she can diagnose and treat glaucoma before long-term visual loss happens.

DIAGNOSING: Testing for glaucoma always starts with a comprehensive eye exam. Your doctor will measure your eye pressure. Your doctor will also check your optic nerve, and if you have glaucoma, it will look a certain way. He or she may take photographs of the nerve to help him track your disease over time. He’ll do a test called~tonometry~to check your eye pressure and a visual field test, if necessary, to figure out if you’ve lost your side, or peripheral, vision.~Treatments for glaucoma all aim to lower eye pressure and include prescription eye drops, laser surgery, or microsurgery.
NEW TREATMENT: VYZULTA is a prescription eye drop that helps reduce eye pressure in people with~glaucoma or ocular hypertension. It lowers eye pressure by increasing drainage of fluid from the eye which helps reduce the risk of vision loss due to glaucoma. It’s believed to work through two different pathways in the eye. Dr. Nathan Klein, and Optometrist in South Florida, says that most other drops work on one of the two different mechanisms for liquid outflow in the eye. “With VYZULTA, it’s actually working on both drains and increases the outflow with both drains. This is causing that pressure to come way down and stay way down,” says Klein. He says that VYZULTA is a game changer when it comes to glaucoma because when patients were using an eye drop called Prostaglandin, they were only seeing between 20% and 30% reduction in the pressure. “Often that’s not enough. With VYZULTA we’re getting much better results, 30% to 40% with the same single drop, both eyes in the evening.” he says. VYZULTA should be used once daily at night. It is important to remember to take the drops each night around the same time to help ensure the medication is working effectively. The most common side effects seen in patients using VYZULTA were eye redness, eye irritation, eye pain, and pain after putting the drops in the eye. 


Karen Dennis

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know~to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

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