The European Commission has allowed the expanded use of Novartis eye unit Alcon’s Travatan (travoprost) in paediatric patients with glaucoma.

The drug can now be used to decrease elevated pressure in the eye - the only known modifiable risk factor for glaucoma - in patients with ocular hypertension or paediatric glaucoma aged two months to less than 18 years.

Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that damages the optic nerve, resulting in gradual, irreversible loss of vision, and eventually blindness if left untreated or unmanaged. There is no cure for the condition.

Peadiatric glaucoma is responsible for 5% of childhood blindness worldwide.