Approximately 3 million Americans have Glaucoma while only half of them actually know they have it. Glaucoma is when fluid in the eye cannot fully drain, putting pressure onto the optic nerve which then becomes damaged and, if not treated, can result in loss of vision. Most people don’t have any Glaucoma symptoms at the beginning, yet it’s quite a common condition that can affect men and women of all ages. The first sign that a person may have Glaucoma is the loss of peripheral vision, yet even that can go unnoticed until much later on.
With January being Glaucoma Awareness Month, it’s important to familiarize ourselves with Glaucoma symptoms and treatments. You could be suffering from it and not realize what it is and how it can affect your vision for the long term.
Regular eye checks prevent loss of vision
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. It is a condition which gradually gets worse and worse, and isn’t usually detected unless a routine eye test is being performed. It is recommended to have a routine eye test every two years for this very reason. If Glaucoma symptoms are not treated, it can result in permanent vision loss.
It is thought that genetics might play a role in Glaucoma and so it is necessary for those who have a family history to get checked every one to two years.
Once Glaucoma has been diagnosed by a doctor, there are a number of treatment options. The most common treatment is the prescription of eye drops. For many people, a combination of eye drops and laser treatment helps to control eye pressure.
There are different types of eye drops for treating Glaucoma symptoms, classified by the different active ingredient used.
Lumigan and Travatan are prostaglandin analogs and they increase the outflow of liquid from the eye. The side effects are generally eye-related, such as a change in the growth of eyelashes. At around $40 a bottle when you buy online, it’s not cheap but certainly a very affordable solution.
Alphagan P is an alpha agonist which both decreases production of fluid in the eye and increases drainage. The drug also contains a purite preservative and is better tolerated by people who have allergic reactions to the preservatives in other eye drops. Alpha agonists can cause burning or stinging sensations, headaches, drowsiness and fatigue.
Azopt, a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, reduces intraocular fluid in order to reduce eye pressure. These drugs can cause burning and stinging in the eye and general eye discomfort.
Betoptic-S is a beta blocker drugs work to decrease fluid production in the eye, lowering the pressure and helping prevent blindness. Side effects can be reduced by closing the eyes after applying the drops or preventing the drops from entering the tear drainage duct. Beta blockers sometimes can cause low blood pressure and shortness of breath.
Combigan and Cosopt are combined medications which help patients who need more than one type of medication. Combigan combines an alpha agonist with a beta blocker whereas Cosopt combines a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor with a beta blocker.
Always make sure to consult with your doctor as to which type of eye drop will best suit you. This is because the drops are absorbed into your blood stream and could interact with any other medications you may be taking. It is advised to close your eyes for one to two minutes after applying the drops in order to minimize absorption into the bloodstream and increasing the amount of the drug is actually absorbed by the eye.
Whichever eye drop you end up using, make sure you take it according to your doctor’s instructions for the best results. Glaucoma symptoms are not something to take lightly as your vision is at risk.
Eye drops can get quite expensive especially if your insurance doesn’t cover them. Purchasing from a reputable, online pharmacy can often save you a lot of money on prescription medicine. The eye drops on IsraelPharm.com are branded eye drops and only cost between $25-44 a bottle depending on the type of eye drop.