Glaucoma eye drops, over medication, and finding the right doctor

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I've been treated with a variety of eye drops for high eye pressure and now glaucoma (that showed up about a year ago) for about 10 years.  I started out with an opthalmologist who was not a glaucoma specialist and was given a variety of medicated eye drops in an attempt to lower IOP.  I have experienced a number of different types of negative reactions (one severe) from various medicated drops.  I've had a couple of doctors who (in knee-jerk reaction style), if the medications did not lower the IOP sufficiently, changed medications and also increased the number of times a day the drops should be used (i.e. 1 drop every 24 hours, 1 drop every 12 hours, 1 drop every 8 hours, etc), until it felt like the drops were burning holes in my eyes, i was depressed and sick and quit taking any eye drops at all after receiving an IOP of 38.  My doctor at the time referred me to a glaucoma specialist.  I had with me a list of medications i had taken, and the reactions i experienced from those medications.  I took the list to the specialist on my first visit, i told the specialist i felt that i was being over medicated.  He was a doctor who actually listened to his patients and we started on a program with the minimal treatment and gradually added drops that i could tolerate until the IOP dropped to 18.  So, after one month, i had an IOP of 18 (down from 38) with 1/3 of the medication i had previously been taking and using only timolol (2 drops/day) and latanoprost (1 drop per day) each eye.  I had previously had reactions to the latanoprost (not complaining about my growing eyelashes) and he had prescribed the same drug from a different laboratory that he told me was easier on the eyes.  We used this combination successfully for about 3 years.

I am not saying that the same combination of drops will work for you, but i am saying that my story illustrates that being aware of the possibility of over medication is important to discuss with your doctor, that discussing side effects you are experiencing is important to do with your doctor, and finding a doctor that specializes or has significant past experience treating glaucoma can make a big difference.

 

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  • Posted

    What your consultant said about the different laboratories is very interesting.  My local dispensing chemist has changed hands and the old one used to vary the origins of the Latanoprost and maybe this was the reason - I wondered at the time.  Currently the new chemist has supplied me with Pfizer produced drops only. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Beverly i just got tested and had a pressure of 33. I started drops 2 days ago, do you know how quickly the drops lower the pressure? thanks
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    • Posted

      Hello Mike have you been diagnosed with glaucoma (wide or acute angle)?  or just high eye pressure?  I don't know how long it takes the drops to lower the pressure.  Could depend on a number of factors, like the kind of drops maybe.  What i do know is that when i was being checked for a change in the kind of drops i use, i was being checked every two weeks.  So i think i can safely say (if the drops you have been prescribed are going to work for you), the pressure should drop within a period of 2 weeks.  When is your next appointment?

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    • Posted

      hi Beverly, i saw the eye specialist today, he says my optic nerve is damaged and i have 40% field loss. Ive been having eye pain so he prescribed a cortisone drop to use for a couple of days then i see him again thursday
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    • Posted

      Hello Mike...very good your finding a capable doctor within such a short period of time.   Do you feel comfortable with this doctor?  It sounds he is moving forward on your condition very nicely.  But if you have doubts, you can always shop around.  There are all kinds of new and experimental ways to treat glaucoma and you want to know that your doc is keeping current and you also want a doc who will keep you informed about your condition.  I have found glaucoma to be an "up" one day "down" the next.  But keeping informed of your options helps to keep one off the roller coaster ride and levels things out a bit.  There is a "Glaucoma Research Institute" org in San Francisco that puts out the latest in research and treatments.  I don't have the url, if you are interested, just search the above.  They have newsletters they will send to your email inbox, if this appeals to you.  I don't like to get caught up with my situation and spend minimal time on medical things, preferring to spend time on the things i love to do and generally enjoy life.  I wish you the very best

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  • Posted

    This is actually very true and many specialists themselves have agreed over time that too many medications give poor control over iop.A good diet combined with exercise and meditational techniques can stretch same medicine for a longer duration.I highly recommend use of home tonometer for checking iop multiple times a day , this gives us better insights on what exactly is causing spikes...

    Regards

    Surabhi

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    • Posted

      Oh my goodness, i didn't know there was such an instrument as a home tonometer for checking iop.  What a revelation!  I will have to look into this and thank you for mentioning it.  I am with you 100% regarding good diet, exercise, and meditation.  I do yoga daily and cannot imagine a life without it.  I am post operative, have wide angle glaucoma in one eye, it has not shown up in the left eye yet.  At any rate my last reading revealed an operated eye reading of 6.  My doctor is hoping to stabilize at between 10 - 15.  We'll see in a couple of days.  So right now, i am not too much concerned about the pressure spikes and would rather weed the garden smile  With all of this, occasionally there are "down" times when i do get the blues.  I think it is normal and i just roll with it until it goes away, but i do make sure that it doesn't get to the point of "driving the bus" so to speak.  smile

      Warm wishes Surabhi

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