Glaucoma drugs

Glaucoma drugs

Types of glaucoma eye drops

What is the most common treatment for glaucoma?

What medications should be avoided with glaucoma?

What foods to avoid if you have glaucoma?

Which drug is used to cure glaucoma?

Eye drops used in managing glaucoma decrease eye pressure by helping the eye’s fluid to drain better and/or decreasing the amount of fluid made by the eye.

Drugs to treat glaucoma are classified by their active ingredient. These include: prostaglandin analogs, beta blockers, alpha agonists, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, and rho kinase inhibitors. In addition, combination drugs are available for patients who require more than one type of medication. An older class of medications, the cholinergic agonists (such as pilocarpine) are not commonly used these days due to their side effects.

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Types of glaucoma eye drops

Glaucoma eye drops are classified by the active ingredient chemical that helps make the drug work. Also, many of the glaucoma eye drops listed here are available in generic forms at your pharmacy.

Glaucoma eye drops are classified by the active ingredient chemical that helps make the drug work:

Prostaglandins. These glaucoma eye drops often have the best user compliance because they are required only once daily. Prostaglandins generally work by relaxing muscles in the eye's interior structure to allow better outflow of fluids, thus reducing buildup of eye pressure.

Possible side effects of prostaglandin eye drops for glaucoma include stinging and burning, eye color change, and lengthening and curling of the eyelashes.

Beta-blockers. Used in a variety of glaucoma eye drops, beta-blockers were at one time the drugs of first choice in treating glaucoma.

These eye drops have the potential to reduce heart rate and may cause adverse side effects in individuals with certain heart problems, lung problems (such as emphysema), diabetes, depression or other conditions. For these reasons, make sure you discuss your medical history in detail with your eye doctor before using beta-blockers.

Alpha-adrenergic agonists. These drugs work by decreasing rate of aqueous humor production and can be used alone or in combination with other anti-glaucoma eye drops.

Common side effects associated with this classification of eye drop include red or bloodshot eyes, upper lid elevation, dilated pupils and itching.

Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. These drugs work by decreasing rate of aqueous humor production. They are usually used in combination with other anti-glaucoma eye drops and not alone. This classification of drug is also used in oral form (pills). Common side effects experienced with carbonic anhydrase inhibitor (CAI) eye drop include burning, a bitter taste, eyelid reactions and eye redness.

About half of patients cannot tolerate oral CAIs due to their systemic side effects, which include fatigue, depression, loss of appetite, weight loss, loss of libido, kidney stones, metallic taste and tingling in fingers and toes (peripheral neuropathies).

Parasympathomimetics. These drugs work by increasing the outflow of aqueous humor from the eye. They are frequently used to control IOP in narrow-angle glaucoma. These eye drops cause the pupil to constrict, which assists in opening the narrowed or blocked angle where drainage occurs.

Common side effects experienced with these types of eye drops include brow ache, pupil constriction, burning, and reduced night vision.

Epinephrine. The epinephrine class of drugs has a dual effect on the eye. These drugs work by decreasing the rate of aqueous humor production and increasing the outflow of aqueous humor from the eye.

Common side effects experienced with this classification of eye drop include pigmented eye surface membrane (conjunctival) deposits, blocked tear ducts and heart palpitations with an increased heart rate.

Hyperosmotic agents. These drugs are usually for people with a severely high IOP that must be reduced immediately before permanent, irreversible damage occurs to the optic nerve. Hyperosmotic agents reduce IOP by lowering fluid volume in the eye.

Usually given only on a one-time, emergency basis, these drugs include oral glycerin and isosorbide orally, and mannitol and urea intravenously.

Prostaglandins. These glaucoma eye drops often have the best user compliance because they are required only once daily. Prostaglandins generally work by relaxing muscles in the eye's interior structure to allow better outflow of fluids, thus reducing buildup of eye pressure.

Possible side effects include stinging and burning, eye color change, and lengthening and curling of the eyelashes.

FDA-approved Xalatan (Pfizer), Lumigan (Allergan), Travatan Z (Alcon) and Rescula(Novartis).

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What is the most common treatment for glaucoma?

The most common treatments for glaucoma are eye drops and, rarely, pills. Doctors use a number of different categories of eye drops to treat glaucoma. They either decrease the amount of fluid (aqueous humor) in the eye or improve its outward flow, and some do both. Sometimes doctors will prescribe a combination of eye drops.

People using these medications should be aware of their purpose and potential side effects, which a medical professional should explain. Some side effects can be serious.

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What medications should be avoided with glaucoma?

If you have narrow drainage angles or you have long-term (chronic) closed-angle glaucoma, you may need to avoid medicines that widen (dilate) the pupil, the dark spot in the center of the eye. Having wide pupils when you have these other problems may cause acute closed-angle glaucoma. This is a dangerous condition that requires medical care right away to prevent lasting damage to your eye.

Some examples of prescription and over-the-counter medicines that may dilate the pupils are:

  • Antihistamines and decongestants
  • Asthma medicines
  • Motion sickness medicines
  • Some medicines used to treat depression (tricyclic antidepressants)

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What foods to avoid if you have glaucoma?

Let’s find out what are those things and try your best to avoid them.

  • Cut Trans fatty acids from your diet

Trans fatty acids are linked with high cholesterol levels. They are also known to damage blood vessels in our body. This damage can occur anywhere in the body, including our eyes. Everything we see, that is transmitted to our brain via the optic nerve, which is a very sensitive and vital part of the eye. Any damage to this nerve is irreversible. Consuming a high trans fatty acid diet can result in damaging the optic nerve. You should avoid foods like baked goods such as cookies, cakes, donuts or fried items like French fries or stick margarine to steer clear from worsening your glaucoma. It may also improve your eye health. When shopping, look for ‘partially hydrogenated oils’ in the ingredients list to spot foods with high trans fatty acids.

  • Identify and avoid food allergens

If you have food allergies, you may be at a higher risk of glaucoma. Work with your physician to supplement foods that cause allergic reactions. Generally, foods that cause allergies include soy, dairy, wheat and corn.

  • Steer clear of saturated fats

Foods high in saturated fats should also be on your things to avoid list. They not only worsen glaucoma but also cause increase in weight. A study on the effects of Body Mass Index on Intraocular pressure suggested that obesity may be associated with higher risk of glaucomatous injury with high IOP. Foods that contain saturated fats include fatty cuts of red meats like beef, pork or lamb. Excessive use of lard, shortening or butter should also be limited. Instead try to use olive oil for cooking.

  • Consume less coffee

Coffee is every American’s wakeup call, with a few exceptions, but if you have glaucoma or are likely to have glaucoma, you need to cut back on your coffee intake.

Food & Wine suggests that Americans are drinking more coffee than ever before, in the past 6 years. The percentage of Americans drinking a cup of coffee every day has rise to 64 percent, while this percentage was 62 percent in the year 2017.

Coffee has been recorded to increase IOP, leading to optic nerve damage. You can substitute coffee with a warm beverage like green tea, which is a much healthier choice given it is full of antioxidants. It also lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure, which are 2 known factors that worsen optic nerve damage.

  • Find complex carbohydrates

Carbohydrates raise the body’s insulin level. When you have glaucoma, keeping a normal insulin level is cruicial because an increase in insulin level causes an increase in IOP and blood pressure. That will worsen the symptoms of glaucoma. So what should you do? Should you stop consuming carbohydrates? No. You need carbohydrates to function properly, so what you can do is consume complex carbohydrates. The more complex the carbohydrate is, the less it will raise your insulin level.  Foods such as beans and vegetables contain rich amount of complex carbohydrates. You can supplement these for simple carbohydrates found in foods like:

  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Baked Goods
  • Simple Sugars

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10 common question about glaucoma drugs

1Which drug is used to cure glaucoma?
Examples of beta-blockers used in glaucoma treatment are Timoptic XE (Merck), Istalol (ISTA) and Betoptic S (Alcon). Alpha-adrenergic agonists. These drugs work by decreasing rate of aqueous humor production and can be used alone or in combination with other anti-glaucoma eye drops.
2What is the best eye drop for glaucoma?
Glaucoma treatment most often starts with these. They're used to help the fluid in your eyes drain better. In some cases, they can also reduce the amount of fluid your eyes make. ... Examples of this type of drop include: Bimatoprost (Lumigan) Latanoprost (Xalatan) Tafluprost (Zioptan) Travoprost (Travatan Z)
3Can eye drops for glaucoma affect the heart?
As you have discovered, beta blocker eye drops can slow the heartbeat and alter blood pressure. These are the very reasons why oral beta blockers are prescribed for people with high blood pressure and some other forms of heart disease. ... They can also worsen heart failure and aggravate asthma or other breathing problems.
4What foods to avoid if you have glaucoma?
You should avoid foods like baked goods such as cookies, cakes, donuts or fried items like French fries or stick margarine to steer clear from worsening your glaucoma. It may also improve your eye health.
5What should I avoid if I have glaucoma?
Do's and Don'ts If You Have Glaucoma DO: Eat Eye-Friendly Foods. Prepare well-balanced meals that include dark, leafy greens. ... DON'T: Have a Sedentary Lifestyle. ... DO: Elevate Your Head. ... DO: Watch Your Caffeine Intake. ... DON'T: Smoke. ... DO: Take Your Medications as Instructed and Visit Your Doctor Regularly.
6How can I lower my eye pressure fast?
These tips may help you control high eye pressure or promote eye health. Eat a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet can help you maintain your health, but it won't prevent glaucoma from worsening. ... Exercise safely. ... Limit your caffeine. ... Sip fluids frequently. ... Sleep with your head elevated. ... Take prescribed medicine.
7Can you live a normal life with glaucoma?
As long as you are diagnosed early, visit your doctor regularly, and follow your recommended course of treatment, you can continue to live your life fully.
8Are glaucoma drops for life?
Treatment needs to be carried out for life. Glaucoma can be controlled, but there is currently no cure. When medication is chosen, eye drops are usually prescribed. Some of the drops need only be used once daily while some require twice or three times a day dosing
9What is the best vitamin to take for glaucoma?
Some evidence suggests that a high intake of vitamin B through dietary sources, including green leafy vegetables, may reduce the risk of some types of glaucoma. But B complex supplements, including folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, don't appear to offer the same benefit.
10Is glaucoma considered a disability?
Social Security will grant disability benefits for glaucoma that has severely affected central and/or peripheral vision. Glaucoma is not a disease by itself, but refers to a group of optic nerve diseases that can cause blindness.

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