The vast majority of patients are managed with eye drops alone, which are usually have to be taken on a life-long basis.
It is important that the drops are put in as prescribed and with good technique.
A variety of drops are available. They are intended to reduce intraocular pressure and, thereby, prevent or delay further damage to the optic nerve.
The drops decrease eye pressure by helping the eye’s fluid to drain better and/or decreasing the amount of fluid made by the eye.
Drugs to treat glaucoma are classified by their active ingredient. These include prostaglandin analogues, beta-blockers, alpha-agonists and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors.
It may be necessary to change or increase medication to achieve a satisfactory reduction in eye pressure or if a drop causes intolerable side-effects.
Significant side effects are very uncommon, and will be discussed during the consultation as necessary.
Tablets (acetazolamide) to treat glaucoma are rarely prescribed.