Within this research project, which is supported by the Vissing Foundation, we will investigate the effect of preservative-free eye drops on goblet cells. Glaucoma is a serious eye disease which leads to blindness if it is left untreated.
”We will investigate the survival of the goblet cells and their production of the protein mucin when exposed to the preservative-free eye drops. Mucin is an important component of the tear film and it protects against dry eyes”, Josefine Clement Freiberg, who is a medical student within the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen, explains.
Many glaucoma patients experience side effects in form of dry eyes. This can be highly bothersome and might lead to patients abandoning the treatment, thereby causing the disease to progress.
The chemical and physical properties of the actual eye drops will also be investigated.
Currently, knowledge about the way in which goblet cells, the tear film and the eye surface are affected by eye drops is very sparse. Therefore, this study is critical for better future advisement of patients and ophthalmologists with regards to choosing eye drops with a view to minimizing side effects, enhancing quality of life, ensuring optimal disease treatment and preventing vision loss and blindness among glaucoma patients.