Glaucoma treatment is directed at lowering eye pressure to prevent optic nerve damage and loss of vision. Initially, this is accomplished in most glaucoma patients through the use of one or more eye drops. However, it is not enough for your eye doctor simply to prescribe these drops. In partnership with your eye doctor, the best possible medications for you need to be identified. As important, you need to use the recommended eye drops!
Unless eye drops are used correctly, they will not be effective and glaucoma can worsen. Did you know that as many as one half of all glaucoma patients fail to take their eye drops correctly? For some, this means forgetting one or more doses of an eye drop. Others may remember to take them, but do so incorrectly. In this case, the eye drop may not be placed properly on the eye or may be washed out by excessive blinking or tears.- GAT
Eye care professionals have to address each patient’s adherence individually, researchers reported in a study recently published in Ophthalmology.
Newman-Casey and colleagues wrote that patients had a unique set of barriers in their adherence to glaucoma medication in their prospective, cross-sectional survey.
To assess barriers to medication adherence as well as the frequency of 11 common barriers, researchers created a survey for 190 glaucoma patients on at least one glaucoma medication. Participants completed the 33-question survey, which included four sections: demographic information, barriers to optimum adherence, self-reported adherence measured by the Morisky Adherence Scale and patients’ interest in an assist device.
Results showed that 61% of participants identified multiple barriers as obstacles to glaucoma medication adherence, and 29% of participants self-reported poor adherence. Researchers found that, of the 11 common barriers, forgetfulness, poor self-efficacy, difficulty with the medication schedule and difficulty with drop administration were associated with poor adherence.
“This study showed that each patient is likely to have his or her own unique set of issues that will need to be addressed to optimize adherence,” the authors concluded. “Furthermore, the greater the number of barriers identified, the greater the likelihood of nonadherence. Interventions focused on improving adherence will need to ensure that they build self-efficacy, teach patients proper eye drop instillation and address issues with forgetfulness and difficulties with the medication schedule……