A substance found in oven cleaner could prove the key to treating glaucoma.
Cerium oxide nanoparticles, which are also found in window cleaning products, are said to be exactly the right shape and size to penetrate the cornea.
The particles were found to block the activity of an enzyme (hCAII) which is said to play a central role in glaucoma.
This discovery is particularly significant since few glaucoma treatments actually penetrate the eye, which enables medicines to be sent straight to the source of the problem.
Glaucoma involves the build-up of fluid inside the eye which can result in loss of vision and damage to the optic nerve.
The report said: "These results are very promising and more studies will likely evolve into an inhibition of hCAII in living cells and an effective treatment for glaucoma and other diseases.
"The potential applications for functionalised cerium oxide nanoparticles seem limitless as a potential nontoxic drug delivery tool."