Principles of ocular pharmacology

Yong Park, Dorette Ellis, Brett Mueller, Dorota Stankowska, Thomas Yorio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Recently, in a poll by Research America, a significant number of individuals placed losing their eyesight as having the greatest impact on their lives more so than other conditions, such as limb loss or memory loss. When they were also asked to rank which is the worst disease that could happen to them, blindness was ranked first by African-Americans and second by Caucasians, Hispanics, and Asians. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms of disease progression in the eye is extremely important if we want to make a difference in people’s lives. In addition, developing treatment programs for these various diseases that could affect our eyesight is also critical. One of the most effective treatments we have is in the development of specific drugs that can be used to target various components of the mechanisms that lead to ocular disease. Understanding basic principles of the pharmacology of the eye is important if one seeks to develop effective treatments. As our population ages, the incidence of devastating eye diseases increases. It has been estimated that more than 65 million people suffer from glaucoma worldwide (Quigley and Broman. Br J Ophthalmol 90:262–267, 2006). Add to this the debilitating eye diseases of age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and cataract, the number of people effected exceeds 100 million. This chapter focuses on ocular pharmacology with specific emphasis on basic principles and outlining where in the various ocular sites are drug targets currently in use with effective drugs but also on future drug targets.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Experimental Pharmacology
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameHandbook of Experimental Pharmacology
ISSN (Print)0171-2004
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0325


  • Ocular drugs
  • Ocular pharmacology
  • Pharmacodynamics


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