At Lifetime Eye Care, we try to help patients throughout the greater Cleveland area achieve exceptional vision and great eye health overall. This can be achieved through advanced eye care treatments and preventative measures. For serious vision issues, medications and advanced therapies may be necessary.
With this in mind, let's now consider glaucoma and why medications for this condition are often a good starting point for eye care specialists and their patients.
Glaucoma is a condition caused by increased pressure within a person's eyeballs. When the intraocular pressure is high, the optic nerve can become damaged, resulting in vision loss and eventual blindness if left untreated.
No, glaucoma cannot be cured.
That said, the intraocular pressure of the eyes can be managed, meaning that vision loss can be slowed down or stopped and your overall vision quality can be maintained with proper care. Many people who have glaucoma have been able to lead fulfilling lives thanks to a variety of treatment options.
It's generally ideal for medical professionals to work conservatively when treating any sort of condition, particularly when initiating a treatment plan. With glaucoma, that is no exception. For the most part, doctors will attempt to use medications to help manage the intraocular pressure and help patients experience better overall vision.
If the glaucoma medication proves ineffective, new solutions will be considered instead. Generally this means surgical procedures to aid in the drainage or replacement of fluid within the patient's eyes.
The most common kinds of medications for glaucoma come in eyedrop form. These are as follows:
Prostaglandins: Prostaglandins help increase the outflow of the fluid within the eyes, reducing intraocular pressure in the process.
Beta Blockers: Beta blockers are used to reduce intraocular pressure while also reducing the amount of fluid produced in your eyes.
Alpha-Adrenergic Agonists: Alpha-adrenergic agonists are similar to the previous two drugs in some ways, increasing fluid outflow while preventing the production of aqueous humor.
Miotic or Cholinergic Agents: These kinds of drugs help promote the outflow of fluid in the eyes.
Keep in mind that combinations of the above medications may be considered. In those cases, it's important for patients to pay attention to all directions and for their physicians to be aware of potential contraindications that may impact overall health and wellness.
When eyedrops do not prove effective for treating glaucoma and reducing your intraocular pressure, oral medications may be used. Generally, the use of a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor is most common, helping to reduce pressure within the eyes. Patients will be provided with a full list of potential side effects associated with the drug, though some of the most common side effects include tingling in the toes and fingers, upset stomach, and sensations of depression.
As with the eyedrops, doctors will be very careful when prescribing medications, noting any potential contraindications that may lead to health problems.
For more information about how you can have glaucoma and other serious vision issues treated effectively, be sure to contact our vision correction and eye care center today. The entire team here at Lifetime Eye Care looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve the best vision possible.