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Glaucoma Treatment

Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease, which could seriously damage the optic nerve in the eye and lead to permanent vision loss. The condition is usually caused by the increased pressure in the eye, but this is not the only risk factor for development of glaucoma.

Glaucoma in adults may be and open-angle or closed angle glaucoma.

Medications used to treat glaucoma are usually eye drops or tablets, which lower the pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure, IOP). These medications usually decrease the amount of produced eye fluid or increase the drainage of that fluid from the eye. In sudden attack of closed angle glaucoma doctors use medications to constrict the pupil, opening the angle for drainage. After the medications, specialists advise laser surgery, to prevent future glaucoma attacks. Congenital glaucoma medications decrease the intraocular pressure and decrease the cornea cloudiness. Glaucoma drugs are not the long term treatment, but the temporary therapy used before the patient can be surgically treated.

Glaucoma Medications

Although some specialist advise the surgical treatment for glaucoma, medications are still safer than surgery, with fewer side effects.
Your doctor should know everything about your current health problems and medications you have been using. Inform the doctor before the start of the glaucoma treatment, to avoid any potential complications and medication interactions.

1.       Drugs which decrease the fluid produced in the eye include:

  • Agonists of adrenergic receptors (Alphagan, Epifrin, Iopidine, Propine)
  • Beta blockers (Betagan, Betimol, Betoptic, Ocupress, Optipranolol, Timoptic)
  • Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (Azopt, Diamox, Neptazane, Trusopt)
  • Hyper osmotic medications (Osmitrol, Osmoglyn, Ureaphil)
2.       Medications that increase the drained fluid from the eye:
  • Agonists of adrenergic receptors (Alphagan, Epifrin, Iopidine, Propine).
  • Analogs of prostaglandin (Lumigan, Travatan, and Xalatan).
  • Cholinergic drugs (Carboptic, Isopto Carpine, Phospholine Iodide, Pilocar, Pilopine HS, and Pilostat).
In some cases, medications might be a mixture of 2 drugs, such as Cosopt or Combigan. It is important to know how to insert the eye drops properly into the eye. The medications will work as it should and the risk of side effects will be reduced to the minimum.

Marijuana as the Remedy for Glaucoma

Some studies have proven that marijuana can lower the intraocular pressure in 60-65% of the glaucoma patients. The decrease might be about 25% and these effects last for couple of hours. The side effects of marijuana smoke are still present. Marijuana changes the mental state of the patients and has a negative effect to the lungs. Therefore, marijuana is not recommended as the medication or addition to the glaucoma treatment.

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