Glaucoma Eye Drops

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Are you the type of patient who is afraid of undergoing surgeries? If you have glaucoma, do not worry.  You can still have a non-surgical treatment for your glaucoma through glaucoma eye drops.  Eye drops are usually the first choice of patients, especially if they are going to choose between eye drop or surgery.  These eye drops are designed to lower and/or control intraocular pressure or pressure in the eye.

Take note that not all patients are advised to use eye drops. So make sure that you are a good candidate for using one. Because it not, you might suffer more. All medications placed in the eye are absorbed into the conjunctival blood vessel on the surface of the eye. The moment the active ingredient of the medication enters the bloodstream; this may unfavorably affect other body functions like heart rate and breathing.

Glaucoma eye drops are classified depending on the active ingredient chemical present and how they work which helps to lower or control eye pressure. Some of these types include prostaglandins, beta-blockers, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, parasympathomimetics, epinephrine, hyperosmotic agents and combination glaucoma drugs.

Prostaglandins allow better outflow of fluids by relaxing the muscles in the eye’s interior structure.  Thus, eye pressure buildup is reduced.  Beta-blockers and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors work by reducing the aqueous or the fluid production in the eye.  On the other hand, parasympathomimetics increase the outflow of aqueous humor from the eye.  Epinephrine is a combination of the previous eye drops.  This reduces the fluid production and increases the outflow of aqueous humor from the eye.   Lastly, hyperosmotic agents decrease the intraocular pressure by lowering the fluid in the eye.  This eye drop is given to those with severely high intraocular pressure.  In some cases, patients might use one or more eye drops as prescribed by their doctors.  In this way, the right amount of active ingredient is met to control the intraocular pressure. For convenience, combination glaucoma drugs are given.  This type of eye drop is a combination of one or more type of eye drop in just one bottle.

However, it cannot be avoided that these eye drops have side effects.  Some of the common side effects include burning and eye color change.  There are also specific side effects each type of eye drop. Prostaglandin has few side effects like stinging or burning when applied in the eye, darkening of the eye due to increase pigmentation in the iris, and lengthening and curling of the eyelashes.  If you have heart problems, be careful in taking be beta-blockers for it has a potential to reduce heart rate and other side effects for heart problems.  Patients who take parasympathomimetics may experience brow ache, pupil constriction, and reduced night vision. Pigmented eye surface membrane (conjunctival) deposits and blocked tear ducts may be the side effects of epinephrine.

So before using glaucoma eye drops, make sure that your doctor prescribed it for you. Have a regular check up with your doctor to determine if you will still continue use that eye drop/s.  In case you experience side effects, consult immediately your doctor.