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Glaucoma: What Every Patient Should Know

If you or someone close to you has glaucoma, you probably have questions. What causes glaucoma? Is it safe to use Murine or other over-the-counter eye drops? What if I can’t afford eye drops for glaucoma?

The doctors at Oregon Eye Specialists are glaucoma experts who keep up with the latest research on glaucoma diagnosis and treatment. Read on to learn what every patient should know about glaucoma.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve. This is the main nerve in the eye. Learn more.

What causes glaucoma?

Usually, increased pressure inside the eye. This happens when fluid does not drain normally. Learn more about what causes glaucoma.

It is possible to have glaucoma with normal eye pressure. This is called “normal-tension glaucoma.” It happens when something other than high eye pressure damages the optic nerve.

Does having open-angle glaucoma mean I have severe optic nerve damage?

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma, but all types of glaucoma can damage the optic nerve. The effects of glaucoma are different for each person. Your eye doctor will check the optic nerve for damage during a general eye exam. He or she can tell you how your optic nerve looks.

What happens if pressure in the eye from glaucoma doesn’t go down?

Your eye doctor will prescribe a different treatment. There are three main ways to treat glaucoma: eye drops, laser treatment and surgery. Most people start by taking eye drops, but some people need more than one type to control eye pressure.

If eye drops don’t lower the pressure, your eye doctor will talk with you about surgery or laser treatment. Learn more about treatment for glaucoma.

How can I prevent glaucoma?

There is no sure way to prevent glaucoma, but getting regular eye exams can help detect it early and prevent vision loss. Read Oregon Eye Specialists’ advice on “Preventing Glaucoma”.

What does vision loss from glaucoma look like?

Glaucoma causes blind spots as it damages the optic nerve. See how glaucoma causes vision loss.

I need help paying for my glaucoma eye drops, such as Xalatan (latanoprost).

Talk to your doctor. He or she might be able to prescribe a different medicine that is more affordable. Also, financial help is often available from the company that makes the medication.

Can vinegar eye drops help my glaucoma? What about Botox, marijuana or massage?

No. Putting vinegar in your eye can irritate it, but won’t lower eye pressure. Botox works on wrinkles, and massage can help tight muscles, but these treatments will not affect the pressure inside your eye.

The National Eye Institute studied whether marijuana effectively treats glaucoma. They found that while it can briefly lower eye pressure, it is much less effective than prescription eye drops. To prevent blindness, your eye pressure needs to be lowered 24 hours a day. Learn more.

At Oregon Eye Specialists, we know Oregonians care about alternative treatments. But the best research shows that current medical treatments for glaucoma are effective and safe. If you have questions, talk to your doctor.

Can I take over-the-counter medications if I have glaucoma?

If you have had a type of glaucoma called angle-closure or narrow-angle glaucoma, you should avoid certain over-the-counter medications, including most cold and allergy medicines and medicines for motion sickness.

If you have open-angle or normal-tension glaucoma, talk to your doctor about which over-the-counter medications are safe, including eye drops such as Murine or other eye medications.

Learn more about glaucoma from Oregon Eye Specialists.

Protect your vision. Contact Oregon Eye Specialists to make an appointment with one of our experienced, caring physicians. With 10 convenient locations there is an Oregon Eye Specialists clinic near you.

Learn more about Glaucoma and patient awareness

Glaucoma Patient Education: What You Should Know.

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