Article published by : Max Health on Monday, October 29, 2012

Category : Eye Vision

Glaucoma Treatment Medications

Glaucoma is an eye disease that involves increased pressure within your eyeball, usually caused by fluid build-up. This pressure can eventually damage to your eye's optic nerve, leading to progressive vision loss. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States. Treatment can take a variety of forms, depending on the type and extent of your glaucoma.

Types of Glaucoma Eye Drops

The most common treatment for glaucoma involves specialized eye drops that are designed to decrease the amount of fluid (called "aqueous humor") in your eye - or at least improve the fluid's outward flow. Sometimes, a combination of different types of eye drops is prescribed for the best results.

Your ophthalmologist should thoroughly inform you of the purpose of your eye drops and any potential side effects, since these eye drops can have serious side effects if they are misused.

The main glaucoma eye drop medications are as follows:

- Beta blockers - Lower your eye pressure by limiting the production of fluid and reducing the rate at which the fluid flows into your eyes. Examples: Betagan, Ocupress, Timoptic.
- Alpha adrenergic agonists - Reduce production of fluid in your eye, and increase the rate at which it flows out of your eyes. Examples: Iopidine, Alphagan, Gluacon, Propine.
- Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors - Reduce production of fluid in your eye. Comes in both eye drop form and pill form. Examples: Trusopt, Azopt, Diamox, Neptazane.
- Prostaglandin analogs - Increase the outward flow of eye fluid. Examples: Zioptan, Xalatan, Lumigan, Travatan.
- Miotics - Make your pupil smaller in diameter; increase the rate of eye fluid drainage. Examples: Isopto Carpine, Pilocar, Pilopine.

Some medications involve combinations of the above medication types, such as Cosopt, Xalacom, and Combigan.

Laser Eye Surgery

Eye drops are not the only option for glaucoma treatment. Laser eye surgery can also be used to improve open-angle or angle-closure glaucoma. After your eye has been numbed, a laser will be used on the tissue near your cornea and iris that is responsible for draining the fluid from your eye into your bloodstream. Using laser energy, an experienced ophthalmologist can reduce the level of pressure in your eye.

Laser surgery cannot permanently cure glaucoma, but it can significantly improve your condition for a number of years. Continued medication through eye drops or pills may be necessary, but in lower amounts.

If you have further questions about glaucoma treatment, please visit the website of experienced Chicago eye doctor Dr. Mark Golden at Doctors For Visual Freedom today at


By: Max Health

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