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Eye Drops for Eye Pressure: An Effective Way to Improve Your Vision

Gina Walters
Published

LAST UPDATED:

eye drops for eye pressure

Glaucoma is an eye disorder that damages the optic nerve in your eye, which, if not treated on time, may cause blindness. 

It occurs due to the build-up of fluid in the front part of the eye. 

This causes a rise in your eye’s pressure, harming the optic nerve and ultimately taking away your vision.

Although Glaucoma can not be cured completely, its development can be slowed down with early diagnosis and proper treatment.

Eye drops are typically one of the first lines of treatment for Glaucoma. 

In severe cases, your doctor may suggest surgeries. 

This article will discuss the most commonly prescribed eye drops for eye pressure management to help prevent Glaucoma.

We will also mention some safety considerations to be taken while having these eye drops.

Commonly used eye drops for eye pressure

Several kinds of eye drops are there to reduce eye pressure, thereby preventing further damage to the optic nerve. 

This, in turn, aids in slowing down the development of Glaucoma, thus protecting your vision. 

Some of these eye drops work by reducing the production of aqueous humor within the eyes. 

Meanwhile, others stimulate the outflow of the fluid from the eyes into the blood circulation.

Not every kind of eye drop has the same effect on everyone. 

Your doctor will probably prescribe you one kind of eye drop and wait a few weeks to see if it lowers your eye pressure. 

If not, a medical professional could attempt an alternative eye drop in that class, one from a different class, or a mix of two different types of Glaucoma eye drops. 

Suggestion:
Take your Glaucoma eye drops exactly as directed by your ophthalmologist. Using the medication in excess can lead to side effects.

Prostaglandin Analogs, Beta-Blockers, Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors, Miotics, and Alpha Adrenergic Agonists are the most commonly prescribed eye drops for Glaucoma.

Explore the various causes of Glaucoma with our article: Uncovering Glaucoma Causes: A Comprehensive Guide

Prostaglandin Analogs

Red eye (Risk Factor)Source: Alajsdfas
Red eye (Risk Factor)

Prostaglandin Analogs function by stimulating the outflow of the retained fluid from the eyes. 

This helps in lowering the eye pressure, thereby saving your vision from further damage.

Latanoprost, Bimatoprost, and Travoprost are some of the most commonly employed Prostaglandin Analogs eye drops.

Doctors usually recommend these eye drops for people with Glaucoma only once daily.

Although these eye drops are generally tolerable, they may lead to some mild side effects, including:

  • Darkening of the skin around the eyes
  • Growth of eyelashes
  • Increased sensitivity toward light
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Red Eyes

Most of Glaucoma eye drop side effects vanish once you stop taking the medication.

However, do not discontinue the eye drops without consulting your doctor, as stopping the use of the medication may reverse its effects.

Glaucoma can be of different types. Read our article: Different Types of Glaucoma: A Guide to Causes and Treatment to know more.

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  • Beta-Blockers

    Beta-Blockers, such as Timolol, Betaxolol, and Levobunolol, lower eye pressure by reducing the production of fluid in the eye.

    However, they can lead to major side effects like:

    • Reduced blood pressure
    • Fatigue
    • Decreased pulse rate
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Dizziness
    • Difficulty breathing

    In rare cases, Beta-Blockers can also lead to low libido and depression.

    The prescribed dose of Beta-Blockers for people with Glaucoma is once daily. 

    Glaucoma can not be cured but prevented by bringing some healthy changes to your life. Read our article: How to Prevent Glaucoma: Exploring Strategies for Healthy Eyes to learn further.

    Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors

    Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors (CIAs) function by lowering the rate of fluid formation in the eyes. 

    This, in turn, lowers the eye pressure and may prevent further vision loss. 

    They are available as eye drops as well as oral pills. Your doctor may suggest what suits you best.

    Typically, the drops are used two or three times each day. 

    Besides being effective in lowering eye pressure, CIAs often come with some side effects, such as:

    • Rashes
    • Pain in the abdomen
    • Nausea
    • Fatigue
    • Vomiting

    Miotics

    A man suffering from headacheSource: SIphotography
    Headache is a minor side effect

    Cholinergic eye drops, or Miotics, compress the pupil, which cause more fluid to drain out of the eye. 

    These eye drops include Carbachol or Miostat. 

    They might be applied twice, thrice, or four times every day. 

    Cholinergic eye drops may have major adverse effects like:

    • Blurred vision
    • Nearsightedness
    • Headache

    However, due to the possibility of undesirable side effects, Miotics are rarely prescribed by medical professionals.

    Hence, these medications are now only prescribed to patients who don’t respond to other  Glaucoma treatment options.

    Understand the link between headaches and Glaucoma with our article: Does Glaucoma Cause Headaches: Exploring the Link

    Alpha-Adrenergic Agonists

    Alpha-Adrenergic Agonists, such as Brimonidine and Apraclonidine, decrease the production of fluid in your eye and increase its outflow into the blood circulation. 

    They are usually taken two or three times a day to reduce eye pressure. 

    However, they can lead to some potential side effects, including:

    • Headaches
    • Widened eyes
    • Fatigue
    • Dry mouth
    • High blood pressure
    • Heart rate fluctuations

    In older people, Alpha-adrenergic agonists may also lead to Conjunctivitis (pink eye).

    Besides medications, several vitamins also help in lowering eye pressure. Read our article: Vitamins to Reduce Eye Pressure: A Comprehensive Guide to know more.

    How to use eye drops for eye pressure

    Following safety measures need to be taken while using Glaucoma eye drops to minimize the risk of any side effects and effective results:

    • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after applying the eye drops
    • Avoid letting the dropper’s tip come into contact with your eyes or lashes to prevent contamination
    • Avoid blinking or squeezing your eyelids, as this may push the drop out of your eye before getting absorbed
    • With the help of your index finger, gently push on the inner corner of your eye for 30 seconds. This will stop the fluid from passing through the nasal canal and into your throat and nose
    • Take off your contact lenses before using Glaucoma eye drops. After using the eye drops, wait fifteen minutes before putting on your contact lenses
    • If you are using multiple types of eye drops, apply the second drop only after ten minutes after the first one. By doing so, the initial eye drop won’t be wiped away by the second before showing its effect
    Warning:
    Glaucoma eye drops can lead to drowsiness. Avoid driving any vehicle or operating machinery after using the medication.

    Conclusion

    You can not cure Glaucoma completely, but may reduce its progression.

    The Glaucoma treatment primarily focuses on reducing the eye pressure that is damaging your optic nerve and causing vision loss.

    Among various treatment methodologies, eye drops are the most frequently used approach to lower eye pressure. 

    Commonly prescribed eye drops for eye pressure include Prostaglandin Analogs, Beta-Blockers, Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors, Miotics, and Alpha Adrenergic Agonists.

    However, these eye drops may lead to some potential side effects.

    Hence, it is recommended to consult your ophthalmologist and follow some safety precautions before using these eye drops.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the most effective eye drops to reduce eye pressure?

    Prostaglandin Analogs, Beta-Blockers, Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors, Miotics, and Alpha-Adrenergic Agonists are some of the most commonly prescribed eye drops to lower eye pressure.

    What is the natural way to lower eye pressure?

    Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, cutting back caffeine intake, and quitting smoking are the ways that can naturally reduce eye pressure.

    Can eye drops increase blood pressure?

    Most eye drops do not enter the blood circulation; hence, they have no impact on your blood pressure. 
    However, topical steroid eye drops like Prednisolone can lead to an increase in blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

    Can Glaucoma eye drops decrease blood pressure?

    Yes, Beta-blockers Glaucoma eye drops, such as Timolol, can cause a decrease in blood pressure when consumed in excess.

    Can you feel high eye pressure?

    No, you can not feel high eye pressure as it does not show any symptoms initially until it starts damaging your optic nerve. 
    A detailed eye examination is required to identify increased eye pressure.

    Citations:
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