Eye Drops For Glaucoma
Eye drops for glaucoma are the most common way of treatment for glaucoma. Glaucoma is usually controlled by eye drops and sometimes especially in acute glaucoma we can use oral medication which is called acetazolamide which act by decrease the production of aqueous humor. There are many types of them and they either act by reducing the amount of fluid production or increase the amount of fluid drainage.
As any medications, these eye drops have side effects which can be tolerated by the many patients but some times due to general health of the patient, some types of eye drops can not be given.
To minimize this side effect you should decrease the amount of eye drops that is absorbed to your blood stream by pressing on the corner or medial side of your eye near the nose after you apply the eye drops, so you can decrease the amount of drug that pass through the nasolacrimal ducts in which it can pass to your blood stream.
When your doctor prescribed more than two eye drops with the same frequency per day, try not to apply both of them at the same time. Make sure to keep at least 10 minutes between each eye drops .
Many people think that they should use eye drops for few days or weeks and then stop them. If the use of eye drops is helpful in controlling glaucoma, the patient should continue using them with regular visits to ophthalmologist who can decide to continue on them or not.
1- Beta Blockers
They are the most common used eye drops for glaucoma treatment.
These drugs act by reducing the production of aqueous humor.
1- Levobunolol (Betagan).
2- Timolol (Betimol, Timoptic).
3- Betaxolol (Betoptic).
4- Metipranolol (OptiPranolol)
5- Carteolol (Ocupress)
Possible side effects include difficulty breathing especially with people who have lung diseases like asthma, decrease heart rate and blood pressure especially with people who have heart problems, hair loss, impotence, weakness, fatigue, depression and memory loss.
In case you have lung or heart problems, your doctor might give you another types of eye drops in which they will not affect your general health.
These drugs act by reducing the production of aqueous humor and also by increasing the drainage of aqueous through trabecular meshwork.
1- Apraclonidine (Iopidine).
2- Brimonidine (Alphagan).
Common side effects are fatigue, dizziness, red and itchy eyes, dry mouth and allergic reactions.
3- Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors
These eye drops also reduce the production of aqueous humor.
1- Dorzolamide (Trusopt).
2- Brinzolamide (Azopt).
3- Acetazolamide (Diamox) – oral medication.
4- Methazolamide (Neptazane) - oral medication.
This type of eye drops act also like a diuretic in which there will be frequent urination. Another common side effect of it is tingling sensation in the fingers.
This oral medication should be used with extreme caution in patients with renal failure or with heart failure and on digoxin because it will change the levels of electrolytes in the body which can be risky for those patients.
Also it is contraindication to use Diamox in patient with sulfa allergy and he should use alternatives. You should inform your doctor about these things.
4- Prostaglandin-like compounds
These eye drops act by increasing the drainage of aqueous humor.
1- Latanoprost (Xalatan).
2- Bimatoprost (Lumigan).
3- Travoprost (Travatan).
4- Tafluprost (Zioptan).
Possible side effects include mild reddening and stinging of the eyes and darkening of the iris, changes in the pigment of the eyelid skin, increase in the growth and change in the color of the eye lashes, change in the color of iris and increase inflammation in the eye which leads to blurring of vision.
5- Miotic or Cholinergic Agents
These eye drops for glaucoma increase the outflow of aqueous humor.
1- Pilocarpine (Isopto Carpine, Pilopine).
2- Carbachol (Isopto Carbachol).
Possible side effects are pain around or inside the eyes, brow ache and headache, blurred or dim vision especially at night, nearsightedness, allergy, a stuffy nose, sweating, increased salivation, and occasional gastro-intestinal problems.
6- Epinephrine Compounds
These drugs act by increase the outflow of aqueous humor.
Possible side effects include red eyes, allergy, palpitations, increased blood pressure, headache and anxiety.
7- Combination of Eye Drops
Many people with glaucoma are on more than one eye drop. For this reason there are combination of two eye drops for glaucoma.
The side effects for these medications are mentioned above for each one
1- Dorzolamide and timolol (Cosopt)
2- Latanoprost and timolol (Xalacom)
3- Brimonidine and timolol (Combigen)
4- Travoprost and timolol (DouTrav)
5- latanoprost acid and butanediol mononitrate (Vyzulta)
8- Neuroprotective drugs
There are certain medications and eye drops for glaucoma that act to lower IOP and also they act to protect optic nerve and retina from further damage such as Brimonidine (Alphagan), Memantine (Namenda) and Betaxolol (Betoptic).
9- Natural Treatments for Glaucoma
Mirtogenol. This eye drop is completely made from natural products.