Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Glaucoma is an eye disease characterized by a pattern of progressive damage to the optic nerve that transmits vision signals to the brain. It is often but not always associated with an increase in pressure within the eye (increased intraocular pressure). This pressure most often builds up painlessly over time. Signs and symptoms typically begin with a subtle loss of side vision (peripheral vision). If not diagnosed and treated, glaucoma can worsen and cause loss of central vision and blindness. Glaucoma can also occur in an acute form, in which the intraocular pressure increases very quickly because the drainage angle for the eye fluid becomes closed. An attack of acute angle-closure glaucoma can cause severe eye pain and headache, a red (inflamed) eye, nausea, vomiting, and blurred vision.
Causes of glaucoma
Elevated pressure in the eye is the main factor leading to the damage to the optic nerve. Other causes of glaucoma can include injury or trauma to the eye, inflammation, diabetes, cataracts, or decreased blood flow to the optic nerve. A rare, inherited form of glaucoma can occur in infants at birth.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
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Examples of Medications for Glaucoma Symptoms and Signs
- apraclonidine solution 0.5% - ophthalmic, Iopidine
- apraclonidine solution 1% - ophthalmic, Iopidine
- betaxolol ophthalmic, Betoptic S, Betoptic
- bimatoprost solution - ophthalmic, Lumigan
- brimonidine, (Alphagan, Alphagan P - Discontinued in the US)
- brinzolamide suspension - ophthalmic, Azopt
- carteolol solution - ophthalmic, Ocupress
- Diamox, Diamox Sequels (acetazolamide)
- dorzolamide, Trusopt
- latanoprost, Xalatan
- mannitol (Osmitrol)
- methazolamide - oral, Neptazane
- metipranolol - ophthalmic, Optipranolol
- pilocarpine, Salagen
- timolol ophthalmic solution (Timoptic, Timoptic-XE, Timoptic in Ocudose)
- travoprost - ophthalmic solution, Travatan
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