Every once in a while, you will get this question… “Can I just smoke marijuana to treat my glaucoma?” Many patients have heard somewhere along the way that marijuana can be an effective treatment for elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) or glaucoma. And a lot of patients aren’t afraid to ask if you can prescribe it for them. So, does it really work?
Laser procedures have become important treatment options in the management of patients with glaucoma. These procedures can be used in place of or in conjunction with topical therapies.
Glaucoma management has become a very hot topic in the past couple of years with the approval of several new topical ophthalmic medications, the advances in glaucoma surgical procedures, and the many new treatments that are still in the pipeline!
For several years we haven't had any new topical glaucoma medications come to the market, but this year we have 2 new drugs! Both have something new to offer for the treatment and management of our glaucoma patients. Check them out!
Isn't it interesting that some individuals can have elevated eye pressures and never develop glaucoma? And some patients can have low eye pressures and have devastating vision loss from advanced glaucoma?
This has always been something that causes me to scratch my head and wonder what other processes could be involved in the development and progression of this disease.
Last month, the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) granted a marketing license to a Swiss-based company called Sensimed for its smart contact lens that aims to tackle current limitations in monitoring intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with glaucoma.
This sensor device is currently being utilized throughout Europe and has been studied in the US, but will hopefully start to be more widely available to practitioners and patients shortly for glaucoma monitoring.
Today we will continue on with reviewing the mechanisms of action, dosages, side effects, contraindications, and preparations of topical alpha-2 agonists, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, miotics, and combination medications.
Last week I attended a continuing education course in which we reviewed several difficult glaucoma patient cases. These were all patients with moderate to advanced glaucoma who showed progression and the subsequent need for adjustment of their current glaucoma treatment plans.
Additionally, most of these patients also presented with complicated medical histories, had allergies to certain classes of medications, responded poorly or ineffectively to prior topical glaucoma treatments, and had difficulties with compliance when multiple medications were needed.