Eye drops to lower eye pressure are an important tool to help preserve and protect vision in patients with glaucoma and elevated eye pressure.
For your eye drops to be effective, it’s vital that they be administered as prescribed. In most instances this is once or twice per day. Insufficient dosing may result in worsening glaucoma. On the other hand, excessive dosing may cause additional or unexpected side-effects. If you are on multiple drops, it is important to ensure at least 5 minutes between each different drop.
Unfortunately, all eye drops to lower eye pressure have side-effects, but most of the time these are manageable. If the side-effects are interfering with your ability to regularly take eye drops, please discuss this with your specialist. There are some ways to minimise side-effects, including regular use of lubricating eye drops, using drops without preservatives (if possible), and closing your eyes for one minute after the drops are instilled.
A large proportion of patients who have been prescribed eye drops for glaucoma stop taking them over time. There are multiple reasons for this including side-effects, poor understanding of treatment, cost and/or difficulties with installation. However, it’s important to remember that taking the drops every day is vital, as problems with adherence to eye drops can adversely affect your visual outcomes from glaucoma.
For further information about ensuring optimal treatment adherence for glaucoma see here: https://glaucoma.org.au/i-have-glaucoma/glaucoma-management/treatment-adherence.
Your prescribed eye drops should ideally be used at the same time each day. Setting reminders in your diary or phone can help.
Remember, glaucoma is a lifelong condition that has no cure. However, ensuring you are monitored regularly and taking your treatment as prescribed are the two most important ways to protect your vision.
Some useful resources can be found here: https://glaucoma.org.au/i-have-glaucoma/glaucoma-management
As always, our team at Peninsula Eye Centre is here to support you. Please discuss any concerns with your specialist at your appointment.