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Medications Used to Treat Glaucoma

By David Gross on November 28, 2015


A patient undergoing a glaucoma screeningGlaucoma is one of the most insidious diseases known to humankind. Indeed, it is often referred to as the “silent thief of sight.” This is because the disease generally manifests no obvious symptoms in its earliest stages, when it is most easily managed. However, if left untreated, glaucoma can cause serious and permanent damage to a person’s vision, and eventually lead to blindness.

While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are many effective methods for managing the disease. Especially when it is diagnosed in its early stages, the progression of glaucoma can be slowed, and vision can be preserved, in many cases for a lifetime. Although surgery often becomes necessary over time, in many cases it can be postponed for years through the administration of medication therapies. At Deen-Gross Eye Centers, we offer a comprehensive range of glaucoma treatments, including glaucoma medication treatment. At our Merrillville, IN eye care practice, we strive to provide the most effective eye care available, regardless of our patients’ needs.

If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, or if you have not had an eye exam in the past two years and need to be screened for glaucoma, we invite you to schedule an appointment at our eye care center today.

What types of medications are used to treat glaucoma?

Most glaucoma medications are administered in the form of eye drops. There are multiple types of glaucoma eye drops, each classified according to the chemical that serves as its active ingredient. Glaucoma eye drops include:

  • Prostaglandins: This class of drug promotes the outflow of fluid in the eye, thereby lowering the intraocular pressure that is associated with glaucoma. Possible side effects include a darkening of the eye’s color, stinging, reddening, and blurred vision.
  • Beta-blockers: This class of drug is often prescribed in conjunction with prostaglandins, as it reduces the production of fluid in the eye. Possible side effects include low blood pressure and slowed heart rate.
  • Alpha-adrenergic agonists: This class of drug both decreases the production of fluid in the eye and promotes the outflow of fluid in the eye. Alpha-adrenergic agonists are often prescribed in conjunction with other glaucoma eye drops. Possible side effects include high blood pressure, irregular heart rate, and itching of the eyes.
  • Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors: This class of drug decreases the rate at which fluid is produced in the eye. It is generally prescribed only in combination with other glaucoma medications. Possible side effects include a burning sensation in the eyes and reddening.
  • Parasympathomimetics: This class of drug promotes the outflow of fluid in the eye, especially among patients with narrow-angle glaucoma. Possible side effects include headache, a burning sensation in the eyes, and impaired night vision due to pupil constriction.
  • Epinephrine: This class of drug both decreases the production of fluid in the eye and promotes the outflow of fluid in the eye. Possible side effects include the blockage of tear ducts and increased heart rate.

Learn More about Glaucoma Medication Treatment

For further information about glaucoma medication treatment, please contact Deen-Gross Eye Centers today.

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