Glaucoma eye drops can make a world of difference in daily pain maintenance, when used as prescribed by your physician. Fluid pressure of the eye (intraocular pressure, or IOP) can build up so high that it exceeds the optic nerve’s tolerance, resulting in glaucoma. Most typically, glaucoma shows up in people age 40 or older, although the subtlety of its presence can unfortunately go undetected for some time. Thus, having the “puff of air” standard glaucoma test in addition to your regular eye exam is wise, especially for this age demographic. Glaucoma eye drops are a popular treatment choice for primary open angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease.
Using glaucoma eye drops help keep eye pressure tolerable. It’s critical that one follow doctor’s orders as to dosage and frequency in order to prevent pain and other problems. Therefore, glaucoma eye drops can be extremely beneficial when used properly.
There are five types of glaucoma eye drops available. One of the earliest forms still exists – beta blockers. Potential dangers or drawbacks when using beta blocker glaucoma eye drops include negative side effects in some patients who already have heart and respiratory conditions.
Adrenergic glaucoma eye drops serve a dual purpose – they help reduce the production of aqueous humour (natural eye fluid) while also promoting its increased outflow from the eye. Typical side effects of this type of glaucoma eye drops may include discolouration of the white of the eyes, tear duct blockage, and more rarely, accelerated heart rate/heart palpitations.
The third type of glaucoma eye drops is alpha-adrenergic antagonists. These should not be used by patients taking beta blockers of any type, or by those taking MAO inhibitors. Typical side effects of this form of glaucoma eye drops include dilated pupils and/or red eyes.
Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors make up the fourth category of glaucoma eye drops. These are also offered in pill form, but there are multiple adverse side effects with the pills. The drops version slows down the production of aqueous humour in the eye. Negative side effects from using this type of glaucoma eye drops include blurred vision, red eye and the creation of small growths on the cornea of the eye (punctuate keratopathy).
Last of the five types of glaucoma eye drops here listed is the primary choice of many ophthalmologists – prostaglandin analog drops. These have an extremely low side effect ratio, and are good at reducing IOP. Some minor side effects which may be experienced are slight discomfort, thickening of the eye lashes, temporary blurriness of vision, and in some cases, darkening of the eye. Again, of all the varieties of glaucoma eye drops, prostaglandin analog ranks as a favourite.Professor Steven Charles Gallant