Glaucoma is typically treated with the use of medications that either help the fluid drain better or decrease the amount of fluid made by the eye. In most cases, medication can safely control eye pressure for many years. Experts agree that your eye pressure must remain under constant control to prevent your glaucoma from growing worse. That’s why it is especially important that you take your prescribed medication on schedule every day.
What about side effects?
Most medications have some side effects. Usually, side effects lessen after a few weeks. However, you should let us know about any physical or emotional changes that occur then taking glaucoma medications. Make sure that you tell all of your doctors (including your family physician) about any glaucoma medications you are taking and any side effects you are feeling.
In particular, older people with glaucoma should look for changes in behavior or mobility that may be a side effect of medications. If the side effects are very uncomfortable or last awhile, we can prescribe another medication.
Changing medications does not necessarily mean that the glaucoma is getting worse. In fact, it is normal for your medication prescriptions to change over time. As your body begins to develop a tolerance for your medications, it will slowly lose its effectiveness and may need to be replaced by a stronger version of the same drug or a different medication. You can often return to previously used medications after your body has had a chance to “forget” the old medication.
Medication programs can also change to include new drugs that are more effective or more comfortable for you to use. Researchers are working to find glaucoma medications with fewer side effects and medications that can be taken less often.
More information about glaucoma drugs can be found at Wikipedia.
*Information courtesy of
Glaucoma Research Foundation