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Aging Disorders of the Eye: Challenges and Approaches for Their Treatment

  • Shruti Hazare
  • Rongbing Yang
  • Smita Chavan
  • Mala D. MenonEmail author
  • Mahavir B. ChouguleEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

The proportion of the global population aged 60 years and over is steadily increasing and projected to increase to almost 30 % in 2050. Among the various health problems, eye and vision problems are serious issues in the elderly. These may be manifested as basic functional disabilities or a decline in the receptive, storage, and analytical capacities of the central visual system. The major eye disorders of aging are cataract, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Although there are treatment methods (e.g., medications and surgical interventions) for these conditions, they are still very challenging areas due to the delicate and critical nature of the eye tissues. Compared with drug delivery to other parts of the body, drug delivery to the eye has met with significant challenges posed by various ocular barriers, which are inherent and unique to the ocular anatomy. In addition, in the case of the aging population, there are added difficulties due to multiple diseases and health problems, the several medications being taken together and the physical and psychological difficulties, including disabilities, dependence, fears, and apprehensions: opening packages, swallowing oral medication and/or reading leaflet information, fear of surgery, and device insertion and removal.

This chapter discusses:
  1. (a)

    Brief of anatomy of the eye and aging changes in the eye

     
  2. (b)

    The major age-related eye problems, including cataract, AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma

     
  3. (c)

    The current treatment methods, novel drug delivery systems, and approaches being investigated for each of abovementioned eye problems

     

Maintaining good vision is an important part of “active aging,” a concept promoted by the WHO. Active aging means continued health, security, and participation in society as people age, in order to ensure a good quality of life in later years. Nations and communities have to gear up to this challenge to ensure that good quality eye care and therapies are available to this group.

Keywords

Aging disorders of the eye Cataract Diabetic retinopathy Age-related macular degeneration Glaucoma 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the support given by the following funding agencies:

(a) National Institute of General Medical Science of the National Institutes of Health (award number SC3 SC3GM109873, 2011); (b) Hawaii Community Foundation, Honolulu, HI, USA, for research support on asthma and mesothelioma research (Leahi Fund) 2013; (c) The 2013 George F. Straub Trust and Robert C. Perry Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation, Honolulu, HI, USA, for research support on lung cancer; (d) Seed grant from the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, HI, USA, and University of Hawaii at Hilo, the Daniel K Inouye College of Pharmacy for providing start-up financial support to our research group; (e) University Grants Commission, India – Major Research Project funding titled “Studies in the Development of Mucoadhesive Systems for Ocular and Nasal Delivery of Drugs” (Sanction No. F-7-11/99-SR, Aug 2000–2003); (f) Amrut Mody research fund (AMRF) for project titled “Studies in the development of novel enzyme delivery systems” (Year 2007–2010).

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmaceuticsBombay College of PharmacyMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.The Daniel K. Inouye College of PharmacyUniversity of Hawaii at HiloHiloUSA

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