Pharmacy Clinical Pearl of the Day: Glaucoma

If glaucoma is recognized early, vision loss can be slowed or prevented.

Clinical Pearl of the Day: Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision.

Insight:

  • This damage is often caused by abnormally high pressure in your eye.
  • Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over 60 years of age. It can occur at any age but is more common in older adults.
  • Many forms of glaucoma have no warning signs. The effect is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the condition is at an advanced stage.
  • Because vision loss due to glaucoma can't be recovered, it's important to have regular eye exams that include measurements of eye pressure so a diagnosis can be made in its early stages and treated appropriately.
  • If glaucoma is recognized early, vision loss can be slowed or prevented.
  • There may be several types of glaucoma, including open-angle glaucoma, normal-tension glaucoma, and acute-closure glaucoma.
  • Glaucoma is the result of damage to the optic nerve.
  • Risk factors may include being over 60 years of age; being Black, Asian, or Hispanic; having a family history of glaucoma; having eye surgery; or taking specific medications.
  • Treatment may include prostaglandins, beta blockers, alpha-adrenergic agonists, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, rho kinase inhibitors, and miotic or cholinergic agents.

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