Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It affects an estimated 2.7 million Americans, and only 50% of those people realize that they are suffering from this disease. Glaucoma is a disease which affects the eye’s optic nerve, resulting in vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma patients have a steady buildup of fluid pressure inside the eye, affecting the eyesight over time. The people most commonly affected by glaucoma are patients over the age of 60. Early treatment is key in fighting the effects of glaucoma. If you have glaucoma, your doctor may take you through the following treatment options.
1. Prostaglandins (eye drops)
Eye drops are the first choice when it comes to treating patients with glaucoma. The goal of glaucoma treatment is to reduce intraocular pressure by either helping the fluid to drain better or by decreasing the fluid produced in the eye. Prostaglandin analog eye drops include Xalatan®(latanoprost), Lumigan®(bimatoprost), Travatan Z® (Travoprost), and Zioptan® (tafluprost). According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), they work by increasing the outflow of fluid from the eye. The side effects of these drugs include a change in (and darkening of) eye color and eyelash growth.