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Feature Article

The medical therapies for chronic glaucoma

Karin Attebo
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Abstract

The number of medications available to treat glaucoma is increasing. Many of the older agents are still available, so GPs need to know how the new ones fit in.

Key Points

  • Patients who are aged over 40 years should be screened for glaucoma if they have any of the following risk factors: a family history of glaucoma, myopia, systemic hypertension, or diabetes.
  • Blindness caused by glaucoma is largely preventable. Although the visual damage is not reversible, it can usually be halted.
  • The key strategy for treating glaucoma is lowering the intraocular pressure. Topical drug therapy is usually the first management option tried.
  • Instructing patients in techniques to reduce the rate of systemic absorption of any topical ophthalmic drug will help to reduce the incidence of adverse events

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