Glaucoma is a condition that occurs when there is increased pressure within the eye, which leads to a gradual loss of sight. This can be a very serious disease, so it is important that it is treated appropriately, effectively, and in a timely manner. Right now is an exciting time in eye care in general, but specifically in glaucoma treatment, because there are so many technological and pharmacological advances being made. While many changes are positive, some can be confusing or difficult for patients. Here’s what you need to know about glaucoma treatment as it evolves:
- Prostaglandins are the new standard: Prostaglandins, which are usually delivered via eye drops, are a hypotensive medication used to decrease pressure in the eye, improve the symptoms and halt the progression of glaucoma. Prostaglandins are very effective and are being used more and more, phasing out older glaucoma medications.
- Changing drug ingredients: Improvements in drugs are generally very positive for patients, but some new formulas include new ingredients, such as preservatives. Some patients may experience adverse reactions, so it is important if you are using any glaucoma drugs to be aware of how you feel and how they affect you. If you suspect you are having any type of allergic reaction, discontinue use immediately and call your eye doctor so that you can try another medication that may have fewer side effects.
- Rise in generics: Patents on many glaucoma drugs are expiring, which means that generics are now becoming available. This typically lowers drug costs, which is great for patients.
- Name changes: Due to different drug formulas and new generics, the names of some drugs are changing. This can be confusing for patients, so make sure to check with your eye doctor if you are not sure what a certain drug is or have any questions about your prescriptions.
- Price variability: all of these changes have led to some drugs being cheaper while others are rising in cost. Talk to your eye doctor about price vs. performance trade-offs to make sure you get the best treatment at the best price. .
Glaucoma treatment is changing and many exciting new developments may make treatment more effective. However, with change comes possible confusion or negative side effects. Make sure to work closely with your eye doctor to find what is right for you so that you can treat glaucoma as effectively, affordably, and safely as possible.