Best Glaucoma Eye Drops 2023

glaucoma eye drops

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Due to increased eye pressure, glaucoma is an eye disorder that damages the ocular nerves. If neglected, it can result in blindness and visual loss. The condition of glaucoma comes in several forms. However, primary open-angle glaucoma and primary angle-closure glaucoma are the most prevalent types. More than 2 million Americans are affected by these two illnesses collectively. 

Thankfully, there are efficient therapies that can decrease eye pressure and stop additional glaucoma damage. These therapies include laser therapy, ocular surgery, and glaucoma eye drops. 

The most popular glaucoma therapy is glaucoma eye drops. This is probably due to the fact that they are less costly than laser treatment and surgery. Additionally, they work well and pose no risk to the majority of people. You could be utilizing one or more eye drops to relieve your eye pressure if you have glaucoma. 

What you need to know about glaucoma eye drops, their mechanism of action, and the many brands available will all be covered in this article.

Your sight might be saved with each and every dosage! 

It is crucial that you apply your glaucoma eye drops precisely as instructed by your ophthalmologist or optometrist. That entails taking each dose as prescribed each day. You risk losing your vision if you don’t do this. 

Do not forget to inform your other physicians of the glaucoma medications you are taking. Glaucoma eye drops can produce negative effects, just like another drug. If your glaucoma eye drops are causing you to feel sleepy or fatigued, don’t drive or operate machinery! 

One or more of the following glaucoma eye drop medications may be prescribed to you by your eye doctor.

Glaucoma Alpha Agonists 

Alpha agonists function by lowering the volume of fluid produced by your eye. Additionally, they cause the eyes to leak more fluid. Your eyesight may be preserved as a result of this helping to relieve eye pressure. 

The following are examples of alpha agonist side effects: 

  • Red, itchy, or painful eyes following the use of drops 
  • Allergy symptoms (redness, itching, tearing, and swelling of the eye) 
  • Headaches with a big (dilated) pupil 
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth fatigue, weakness, or dizziness
  • A rapid or erratic pulse that makes you uneasy

With time, blurry vision, stinging, and redness could subside. Call your eye doctor, nevertheless, if the adverse effects continue to trouble you. They might be able to alter your medication or reduce the dose. When the medication is discontinued, the majority of adverse effects disappear. If your doctor doesn’t instruct you to, never stop taking your medication abruptly.

Brimonidine 

The most well-known alpha agonist eye drop is called Alphagan P (brimonidine). Iopidine is another readily accessible eyedrop in this category (apraclonidine). Typically, three times a day are utilized for these eye drops.

Glaucoma Beta-Blockers 

Beta-blockers function by lowering the volume of fluid produced by your eye. That aids in reducing eye pressure and, ideally, preserves your eyesight. 

The following are examples of beta-blocker adverse effects: 

  • Eyes that are red, stinging, or hurt after applying drops. 
  • Hazy vision 
  • Persons with asthma, emphysema or COPD may experience breathing issues. 
  • A sluggish or erratic pulse or heartbeat 
  • Feeling worn out 
  • Depression 
  • Dizziness 
  • A shift in libido or sexual performance 
  • Excessive fatigue while exercising 
  • Diabetes patients’ inability to detect low blood sugar signs 

With time, blurry vision, stinging, and redness could subside. Call your eye doctor, nevertheless, if the adverse effects continue to trouble you. They might be able to alter your medication or reduce the dose. When the medication is discontinued, the majority of adverse effects disappear. If your doctor doesn’t instruct you to, never stop taking your medication abruptly.

Timoptic (timolol) 

The eye drop known as Timoptic (timolol) is a popular beta blocker. Timolol is also present in various kinds of eye drops, including Betimol and Istalol. Betoptic S (betaxolol) and Betagan (levobunolol) are two more glaucoma beta blocker eye drops that are readily accessible. Usually, these eye drops are used once or twice daily.

Glaucoma Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors (CAI’s)

Inhibitors of carbonic anhydrase function by lowering the volume of fluid produced by your eye. Your eyesight may be protected as a result of this helping to relieve eye pressure. 

Your eye doctor may prescribe this medication to you as an oral tablet or an eye drop. 

The following are potential negative consequences of carbonic anhydrase inhibitors: 

  • Burning eyes after applying drops. 
  • Red, injected eyes
  • Hazy vision 
  • An itchy rash (especially in people who are allergic to sulfa drugs) 
  • Alterations in how something tastes to you (like carbonated drinks) 
  • An unpleasant taste or stomachache (nausea) 
  • Feeling worn out 
  • Reduced energy 
  • More frequent urination (with the pills) 
  • Tingling at the tips of the fingers and the mouth (with the pills) 

With time, blurry vision, stinging, and redness could subside. Call your ophthalmologist, nevertheless, if the adverse effects continue to trouble you. They might be able to alter your medication or reduce the dose. When the medication is discontinued, the majority of adverse effects disappear. If your doctor doesn’t instruct you to, never stop taking your medication abruptly.

Trusopt (dorzolamide) 

glaucoma eye drops

A well-known inhibitor of carbonic anhydrase is Trusopt (dorzolamide). Azopt is the additional glaucoma eyedrop in this group (brinzolamide). It is advised to use these eye drops three times each day.

Miotics for treating Glaucoma 

The quantity of fluid draining from your eye increases as a result of miotics, which cause your pupil to constrict (become smaller). Your eyesight may be preserved as a result of this helping to relieve eye pressure. 

Miotics might have the following negative effects: 

  • Blurry vision 
  • Nearsightedness (difficult focussing on faraway objects)
  • Trouble seeing in the dark or at night due to lack of light from pupillary constriction  
  • Eyebrow discomfort or a headache (aching around the eye) 

Your retina might detach, though this is extremely uncommon. The light-sensitive tissue along the back of the eye begins to move away at this point. You might suddenly become aware of flashing lights or black floaters in your field of vision. Make a quick call to your ophthalmologist or optometrist if you have any of these symptoms. 

After using the medication for some time, side symptoms may subside. Call your doctor, nevertheless, if the adverse effects continue to trouble you. They might be able to alter your medication or reduce the dose. If your doctor doesn’t instruct you to, never stop taking your medication abruptly.

Pilocarpine (Isopto Carpine)

An eye drop called Isopto Carpine (pilocarpine) is a cholinergic agonist or a Miotic. This eye drop is the only one in its class of medicines that are used to treat glaucoma and causes Miosis or pupillary constriction. Others are employed to treat various eye diseases. Up to four times, a day may be necessary to apply this eye drop.

Glaucoma Prostaglandin analogs

Analogs of prostaglandins speed up the outflow of fluid from your eyes. Your eyesight may be protected as a result of this helping to relieve eye pressure. 

Prostaglandin analogs might have the following negative effects: 

  • Eyes that are red, stinging, or hurt after applying drops. 
  • Foreign body sensation 
  • Hazy vision 
  • A sustained change in the color of your eyes (happens with hazel eyes mostly) 
  • An increase in eyelashes’ length, thickness, and quantity 
  • The eyelid becomes darker 
  • Asthma and angina flare-ups if already present 
  • Joint pain
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Eyes progressively recede into their sockets, preventing the correct function of the eyelids 

With time, blurry vision, stinging, and redness could subside. Call your ophthalmologist, nevertheless, if the adverse effects continue to trouble you. They might be able to alter your medication or reduce the dose. When the medication is discontinued, the majority of adverse effects disappear. If your doctor doesn’t instruct you to, never stop taking your medication abruptly.

Xalatan (latanoprost) 

One of the most often administered eye drops for glaucoma is Xalatan (latanoprost). This prostaglandin eye drop is an illustration. Typically, these eye drops are used once daily in the evening. 

A list of glaucoma eye drops using prostaglandins include: 

  • Lumigan brand name, bimatoprost is the generic  
  • Travatan Z brand name, travoprost is the generic 
  • Zioptan is the brand name, tafluprost is the generic 
  • Vyzulta is the brand name, latanoprostene bunod is the generic 
  • Xelpros is preservative-free latanoprost

Rho kinase inhibitor

This medication reduces ocular pressure by inhibiting the rho kinase enzymes that cause fluid accumulation. It comes in the form of netarsudil (Rhopressa), and a daily dose is recommended. Red eyes and pain in the eyes are potential adverse effects.

Combination Drops

Cosopt (timolol/dorzolamide) 

One example of a glaucoma combination eye drop is Cosopt (dorzolamide/timolol). Combination eye drops combine two drugs from different drug groups. For instance, Cosopt includes both a beta blocker and a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. 

Using more than one eye drop at a time will help decrease ocular pressure more effectively than using just one eye drop. This is useful if one drug is unable to sufficiently lower your ocular pressure on its own. The dosage guidelines for these differ amongst the eye drops. Read the prescription label on your medication very carefully. 

Other glaucoma eye drops in a combination include: 

  • Combigan (brimonidine/timolol), a beta blocker and an alpha agonist 
  • A prostaglandin and a rho kinase inhibitor, Rocklatan (netarsudil/latanoprost), 
  • Alpha agonist and carbonic anhydrase inhibitor Simbrinza (brinzolamide/brimonidine) 

The same advantages of a combination eye drop can also be achieved by prescribing multiple individual glaucoma eye drops. If this is the case, your doctor will give you two different medicines.

When should you use glaucoma eye drops? 

There should be more than one dosage each day for many glaucoma eye drops. Therefore, at least one dosage will be taken in the evening. 

Beta-blocker eye drops should not be used at night. This is due to studies that indicate they perform worse at night. It could be beneficial to take your evening dose of beta blocker drops a few hours before going to bed if you use them twice daily. It’s preferable to use it in the morning if you just use it once each day. 

Prostaglandin eye drops should be used at night and are typically used once daily. This is due to research showing that using prostaglandin eye drops before bed helps decreases ocular pressure.

Tips while using Glaucoma Drops

You can encounter certain adverse effects unrelated to your eyes since part of the eye drop medication is absorbed into your system. After applying the drops, keep your eyes closed for 1 to 2 minutes to reduce this absorption. To seal the tear duct for a minute or two, you can gently lightly press on the corner of your eyes next to your nose. Remove any droplets that aren’t needed from your eyelid. 

You might need to utilize artificial tears or several eye drops that have been given to you. Make careful to give yourself at least five minutes in between each drop application.   

Oral medications for glaucoma

Your eye pressure may not decrease to the appropriate level with only eye drops. Your eye doctor could also recommend using oral medication. Usually a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, this medication. Frequent urination, tingling in the fingers and toes, sadness, stomach trouble, and kidney stones are a few potential adverse effects. 

Glaucoma surgery and other treatments 

Laser therapy and surgery are other therapeutic possibilities. The following methods might aid in dripping fluid from the eye and bringing down eye pressure: 

Laser treatment

Laser Treatment for Glaucoma

You have the option of laser trabeculoplasty (truh-BEK-u-low-plas-tee) if you cannot tolerate eye drops. If medication hasn’t halted the development of your condition, it may also be utilized. Before utilizing eye drops, your eye doctor may possibly suggest laser surgery. It happens in the office of your eye doctor. The drainage of the tissue at the point where the iris and cornea meet is improved by your eye specialist using a little laser. Before the entire impact of this treatment is felt, it can take a few weeks. 

Filtering surgery

This is a trabeculectomy, a surgical surgery (truh-bek-u-LEK-tuh-me). The sclera, often known as the white of the eye, is opened by the eye surgeon. The procedure makes a second opening for fluid to exit the eye. 

Drainage tubes insertion

In order to drain extra fluid and relieve eye pressure, the eye surgeon inserts a tiny tube into your eye during this surgery. 

MIGS or Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery

To reduce your eye pressure, your eye doctor could advise undergoing a MIGS surgery. Compared to trabeculectomy or the use of a drainage device, these treatments often need less post-operative care and have fewer risks. They frequently accompany cataract surgery. Your eye doctor will explain which MIGS technique could be best for you out of the several ones that are now available.

Conclusions

In order to reduce ocular pressure, glaucoma eye drops are frequently used as a therapy. They function by reducing the volume of fluid produced in the eye, facilitating fluid discharge from the eye, or both. 

There are several distinct eye drop brands. However, latanoprost eye drops like Xalatan (prostaglandin) appear to be the most efficient. 

Glaucoma eye drops side effects might differ depending on the medicine type. All eye drops frequently cause eye discomfort and edema as adverse effects.

FAQ’s

What are the best eye drops for glaucoma for relieving pressure?

By lessening the accumulation of fluids, latanoprost lessens the pressure in your eye. Latanoprost eye drops are typically used once daily. Within three to four hours, the eyedrops ought to help lower the pressure. 

Can your eyes be harmed by glaucoma eye drops? 

Each drug used to treat glaucoma as an eye drop has the potential to cause negative effects. These adverse effects, which might include impaired vision, pain, or redness, may be severe or hardly visible and specific to one treated eye, for example. 

Does reducing eye pressure stop glaucoma? 

Eye drops, oral medications, surgery, or a combination of therapies are used to treat glaucoma in an effort to lower intraocular pressure and avoid irreversible vision loss. Tell your eye care professional about any adverse effects and take medication as directed.

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