An important goal of glaucoma treatment is to prevent further vision loss. However, a treated glaucoma patient often cannot immediately tell whether or not treatment is successful because there is not a fast and dramatic outcome. Compounding the problem is the fact that many glaucoma medications have side effects that range from unpleasant to disabling. And what’s more, glaucoma is a chronic disease often requiring many years of treatment, which can be inconvenient and expensive. The result: many patients simply “forget” to take their medication.
Another problem is when patients take medication incorrectly – too much, too little, at the wrong time, etc. This isn’t entirely surprising since many glaucoma regimens are not easy to follow and require multiple medications taken every day at very specific intervals. But when taken improperly the full effect will not be obtained. For example, not waiting at least five minutes between taking different eye drop medications (so that they don’t wash each other out of the eye) is a common mistake.
Compliance with your medication regimen is, indeed, critical. After all, the most recent diagnostic and treatment advances are to no benefit if patients are non-compliant. In fact, non-compliance has been suggested by some to be a leading cause of glaucoma blindness.- GRF
Number of eye drop bottles associated with incorrect usage
by: Kawai-Tsuboi N
Glaucoma patients who were found to use eye drops incorrectly were often prescribed more bottles of eye drops than other patients, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Glaucoma. Kawai-Tsuboi and colleagues assessed 67 glaucoma patients who were using topical antiglaucoma medications in order to identify an association between prescription patterns and medication usage.
Researchers compared the number of prescription bottles prescribed each month as well as data from a patient questionnaire. The questionnaire examined the patients’ awareness of side effects, their accuracy in instilling the eye drops, how often they used the drops, how many drops they administered in each instillation and their administration method.
Results showed that the only factor associated with the number of prescribed eye drop bottles was incorrect administration. Researchers reported that glaucoma patients who put their drops outside of their eyes were prescribed more medication bottles……