The Medical Treatment of Glaucoma
Sapir-Pichhadze R, Blumenthal E.
Harefuah. 2003 Jan;142(1):66-9, 76.
Department of Opthalmology, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.
Chronic open angle glaucoma is a one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness. Elevated intraocular pressure is a major risk factor for the progression of this disease. At present, most patients suffering from open angle glaucoma have started medical therapy. The goal is to reduce the intraocular pressure to an individualized target pressure in an effort to delay the progression of damage to the optic nerve. Until a decade ago, topical beta-adrenergic antagonists, adrenergic agonists, miotics and oral carbonic anhydrase inhibitors comprised the common medications in use. In the past decade many new drugs have been introduced. These drugs exert less systemic side effects and are very effective in lowering the intraocular pressure and furthermore, are easier to comply with. These include: local carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, prostaglandin F2á analogues and á2 adrenergic selective agonists. Due to lack of consensus as to the initial medication of choice for the commencement of treatment, the traditional tendency to initiate treatment with a local beta adrenergic antagonist persists. This review attempts to familiarize the reader with the new arsenal of glaucoma medications.