Glaucoma, a group of diseases capable of damaging the eye’s optic nerves, can lead to the decrease in your vision or even blindness. However, you can still protect your eyes against serious consequences.
It’s very important to diagnose and treat this disease as soon as possible. We can treat glaucoma with medicines, laser surgery, conventional surgery, or combining any of these. We will learn laser surgery and conventional surgery before learning about medicines.
Conventional surgery makes a new channel for the fluid to leave the eye. Conventional surgery is about 60 to 80 percent effective to decrease eye pressure to normal level. However, it can cause side effects, including cataract, problems with the cornea, inflammation, infection inside the eye, so on.
Laser surgery is currently the most common way to treat glaucoma. It includes trabeculoplasty, iridotomy and cyclophotocoagulation. Like surgery, the laser makes a new channel, but this method uses a high-intensity beam of light. So the fluid can leave your eye easier. This method can cause side effects, one of which may be inflammation. This method can only treat one eye at a time.
Medicines which are used to treat glaucoma include eye drops or pills. While eye drops are the most ubiquitous form of medication to treat this disease, pills are rarely used. Doctors often use many eye drops to treat glaucoma. They can either decrease the amount of fluid in the eye or improve its outward flow; some do both. Some examples of this type of medication:
- Alpha adrenergic antagonists. these medications reduce aqueous humor production and increases its flow out of the eye. This medication group includes apraclonidine, brimonidine, epinepherine, dipivefrin.
- Beta blockers. These medications decrease the rate at which the fluid flows into the eye. Some medications are timolol, levobunolol, carteolol, metipranolol, betatoxol.
- Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. These medications reduce fluid production in the eye. They also have eyedrops and pills. Some medications are dorzolamide, brinzolamide, methazolamide.
- These medications are cholinergic agents, which cause the pupil to become much smaller in diameter and help increase fluid drainage from the eye. Some medications are pilocarpine, echothiophate.
- Prostaglandin analogs. These medications reduce eye pressure by increasing the outward flow of fluid from the eye. Some medications are latanoprost, bimatoprost, travoprost.
These eyedrops, when taken regularly, can lower eye pressure. However, some other kinds of medicine can cause headaches or other side effects. People infected with glaucoma should consult with a doctor before taking any medications.
Review Date: May 26, 2017 | Last Modified: May 26, 2017
Facts about glaucoma. https://nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts. Accessed in March 4, 2017.
What is glaucoma. http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/glaucoma-eyes#1. Accessed in March 4, 2017.
Treatments and drug of glaucoma. http://www.brightfocus.org/glaucoma/treatment-and-drugs. Accessed in March 4, 2017.