Glaucoma is a dangerous ophthalmic disease associated with an increase in intraocular pressure. Several medical methods are currently used to treat it, including conservative drug therapy, surgery, and laser exposure.
All types of treatment are aimed at normalizing intraocular pressure, improving blood circulation in the tissues of the optic nerve, and stabilizing the function of vision.
Medication for glaucoma
Eye drops are considered a conservative treatment for glaucoma, certain eye drops are most often used. Drops are instilled in a specific mode, which is selected for each eye separately.
Such therapy is best suited in the early stages of the disease and therefore is widely used in clinical practice. In addition, drops are used as an addition to other methods of treatment – surgical and laser.
Eye drops for the treatment of glaucoma have a different composition and a different mode of action. Some of them reduce the production of aqueous humor. Others, include special mechanisms and improve the outflow of intraocular fluid, which helps to reduce intraocular pressure. There are also combined eye drops that are capable of acting in these two directions.
Types of eye drops for glaucoma treatment
Eye drops for the treatment of glaucoma are classified according to the active ingredient that has a therapeutic effect:
The glaucoma treatment regimen with this type of eye drops is more convenient and better adhered to by the patient because they only need to be applied once a day. The action of prostaglandins is mainly to relax the muscles of the inner structure of the eye, which improves the outflow of intraocular fluid and, thus, reduces the build-up of intraocular pressure.
Possible side effects of using prostaglandin eye drops for glaucoma include tingling and burning, eye discoloration, lengthening and curling of eyelashes.
According to statistics, the most popular prostaglandin eye drop for glaucoma in 2021 is Lumigan. The main active ingredient of Lumigan is bimatoprost. A special eye fluid is constantly produced and excreted in the eye, we need it to lubricate and cleanse the eyes. If for some reason the fluid cannot escape, intraocular pressure rises, which negatively affects the condition of the optic nerve. As a result of its damage, vision problems arise, they may even cause complete vision loss. Lumigan drops allow normalizing the outflow of fluid. Lumigan eye drops generic can be purchased online at the most affordable cost. This is a complete analog of an expensive brand-name medicine, which can be delivered right to your home door. The order is completed in a few minutes. Moreover, this product is used to improve the growth of eyelashes and eyebrows. Thanks to the synthetic prostaglandin bimatoprost, the bulbs of the eyebrows and eyelashes become stronger and healthier. This has a positive effect on their growth. Hair becomes much longer and darker. The effect of using the drug does not come immediately but within two months. But when it is canceled, the eyelashes and eyebrows take on their original appearance.
They are used in various eye drops to treat glaucoma. Beta-blockers were once the drugs of choice in the treatment of glaucoma. These drugs, the therapeutic effect of which is based on a decrease in the production of intraocular fluid (aqueous humor), are now often prescribed as an adjunct to prostaglandins or in combination with them.
These eye drops can lower the heart rate and cause adverse side effects in people with heart disease, lung conditions (such as emphysema), and those with diabetes, depression, or other medical conditions. For these reasons, discuss your medical history in detail with your eye doctor before using beta-blockers.
This group of drugs works by reducing the production of aqueous humor and can be used alone or in combination with other eye drops to treat glaucoma.
Common side effects associated with this class of eye drops include redness of the eyes or bloodshot eyes (scleral injection), lifting of the upper eyelid, dilated pupils, and itching.
Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
These drugs work by reducing the production of aqueous humor. They are usually not used alone, but in combination with other eye drops to treat glaucoma. This class of drugs can also be taken orally (in pill form). Common side effects of eye drops containing carbonic anhydrase (CI) inhibitors include burning, bitter taste in the mouth, eyelid reactions, and eye redness.
Approximately half of patients cannot tolerate oral CIs due to systemic side effects that include fatigue, depression, loss of appetite, weight loss, decreased libido, kidney stones, a metallic taste in the mouth, and tingling in the fingers and toes (peripheral neuropathy).
The action of these drugs is based on increasing the outflow of aqueous humor from the eyes. They are often used to control IOP in narrow-angle glaucoma. When these eye drops are injected, constriction of the pupil is observed, which helps open the narrowed or blocked corner of the anterior chamber of the eye where drainage occurs.
Common side effects seen with this type of eye drops include eyebrow pain, pupillary constriction, burning sensation, and decreased night vision.
This class of drugs has a double effect on the eyes, decreasing the rate at which aqueous humor is produced and increasing its drainage from the eye.
Common side effects that occur with this class of eye drops include deposits of pigment on the connective membrane of the eye (conjunctiva), blockage of the tear ducts, and a fast heart rate with an increase in heart rate.
Typically, these drugs are used in people with severely elevated IOP, which must be lowered immediately before irreversible permanent damage to the optic nerve occurs. Hyperosmotic agents reduce IOP by decreasing the volume of intraocular fluid.
Typically, these drugs are given only once in an emergency and include oral glycerol and isosorbide, and intravenous mannitol and urea.
Combined eye drops for glaucoma treatment
Many people with glaucoma require more than one type of drug to control IOP. For this reason, several ophthalmic pharmaceutical companies produce “combination” eye drops that can contain two different glaucoma medications in the same bottle.
For convenience, the optometrist may prescribe combination drugs that lower IOP levels. Typically, these drugs have an additive effect in reducing IOP.
Glaucoma eye drops: benefits and harms
Modern medications for glaucoma are usually very effective, although not always completely harmless.
Traditionally, drops are a solution of the active substance and a necessary preservative. Once and in small doses, it is absolutely harmless. But years of instillation of pressure-reducing solutions, especially when the doctor does not change the drug, makes its effect on the surface of the eye rather dangerous. Indeed, the prolonged use of some medicines may cause a dry eye syndrome, which is accompanied by eye redness, dryness and discomfort.
Many patients cannot tolerate modern drugs due to the occurrence of local or general allergic reactions. Also, systemic reactions of the body to their use are not uncommon: lowering blood pressure, heart rhythm disturbances, insomnia, dizziness, etc.
How is drug therapy prescribed?
The task of a competent doctor is to choose from a huge arsenal of drugs with a similar effect, suitable for a specific patient, or find an adequate replacement for it if necessary. When this does not work out, they resort to surgical help.
Treatment of glaucoma with drops can be prescribed by a specialist only after a complete ophthalmological examination. All drugs are selected strictly individually and are used according to the recommended scheme.
Self-medication is especially dangerous in the case of glaucoma because the health of the eyes and the ability to see are at stake. Therefore, it is necessary to use exactly those drugs that the doctor prescribed, and strictly adhere to the course of treatment.
Tags: bimatoprost, eye care, eye diseases, eye drops, glaucoma, lumigan