Some people with glaucoma only require a simple laser procedure to cure their problem, while others need a lifetime of therapeutic eye drops, which can be expensive, burdensome and sometimes ineffective.
Inserted at the time of cataract surgery or refractive lensectomy in patients with glaucoma. May significantly reduce the intraocular pressure(IOP) and reduce the need for topical glaucoma eye drops.
There are a variety of different types of eye drops to treat glaucoma. Your eye doctor will help find the right medication(s) that will lower your IOP to the desired range and control it over time.
Prostaglandin analogues are the newest class of glaucoma drugs, which includes Travatan Z, Xalatan and Lumigan. They work by increasing the flow of aqueous humor out of the eye, lowering your IOP. Prostaglandin analogues are administered once a day and effectively control your IOP for many years.
One of the more common side effects of prostaglandin analogues is redness of the eye. If the redness occurs it is usually mild. In a very small number of patients, prostaglandin analogues may gradually darken eye colour, increasing the amount of brown colour in the iris. Although these changes occur slowly, they may be permanent.
Beta blockers have been used for decades to treat glaucoma. The most common is Timolol. Beta blockers work by decreasing production of the aqueous humor, which lowers your IOP. They are administered once or twice a day.
Some of the side effects include low blood pressure, slow heart rate, and general fatigue.
Brimonidine is the most common alpha agonist. Alpha agonists work by creating an increase in outflow, as well as decreasing the production of aqueous humor, to lower your IOP. They are administered three times a day.
Side effects may include ocular allergic reactions and drowsiness.
Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
Brinzolamide and Dorzolamide are the most common carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors lower IOP by decreasing production of aqueous humor. They are administered two or three times a day. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors are also available as an oral medication.
The severe side effects, such as nausea and diarrhea, common with the oral forms, are largely avoided with eye drops. The eye drops are fairly well-tolerated, but may cause a minor ocular stinging or burning sensation.
Pilocarpine is the most common miotic and has been around for decades. Miotics decrease IOP by increasing outflow of the aqueous humor. They are usually administered three to four times a day.
Side effects may include blurred vision, brow ache, and small pupil size.