I have been using Xalatan for six months and my sleeping habits are not consistent. How important is it for me to take the drops before bedtime? Can I take them when I do not plan to sleep? I may go to bed at 8 p.m. one night and midnight or later the next night. What should I do? [ 11/09/11 ]
Thanks for your question. I think a lot of patients run into your dilemma. The reason that Xalatan is dosed at bedtime is because it begins working 3-4 hours after instillation, peaks at 8 -12 hours, and persists for 24 hours. Because we know that eye pressure is highest in the morning, taking the drop at bedtime puts you in a situation in which the drug is most likely to be peaking at the time when the eye pressure is also peaking. The most important thing is for you to be consistent about taking your drops, so if it is easiest for you to remember to put them in right before you go to bed, then that is what I would recommend. If, however, you know that you will not be going to bed until midnight or later, and you can remember to take the drops around 9 p.m., then it is reasonable to do schedule it then. Alternatively, if you go to bed at 8 p.m., I would not set an alarm clock to wake yourself up and take the drop at 10 in the evening! I hope this helped to answer your question.
I would like to find a glaucoma expert in Athens, Greece who can use a laser to treat narrowing of the cornea. Do you have any suggestions for how to find such a person? [ 09/24/11 ]
Thank you for your question. I assume that you mean that you would like someone to use a laser to treat you for narrowing of the drainage angle, and not the cornea. While I personally do not know any glaucoma specialists that are in Athens, Greece, I might suggest contacting the Athens University Department of Ophthalmology. The department may be able to recommend someone in the area for a consultation.
I have elevated eye pressure and use eye drops now. Is it safe for me to jump into a chlorinated swimming pool with no goggles and keep my eyes open under water? [ 09/11/11 ]
Thanks for your interesting question. I just started swimming myself, and I do wear goggles. Prolonged exposure to chlorinated water can definitely irritate your eyes; however, I do not know of any association between swimming with your eyes open in a chlorinated swimming pool and elevated eye pressure. Obviously, you do not want to apply your eye drops prior to diving into the pool!
Is there any possible connection between the inability to cry (tear up) and glaucoma? [ 09/10/11 ]
Decreased tear production does not cause glaucoma nor is it associated with the disease. However, the treatments sometimes used to treat dry eye can cause glaucoma, and the treatments used to treat glaucoma can cause dry eye! For example, sometimes patients with dry eye who have an underlying inflammatory component to their symptoms may be prescribed topical steroid drops. In some patients, topical steroids can cause elevated intraocular pressure and eventually glaucoma. On the other hand, glaucoma drops, particularly ones that contain preservatives, can exacerbate dry eyes. I hope this answers your question.
I had YAG laser iridotomy on both eyes a few months for narrow-angle glaucoma. The doctor prescribed eye drops (Latanoprost) that I can't tolerate. Is there another medication that might work for me? [ 09/09/11 ]
Latanoprost is one of three prostaglandin analogues that are commonly used in glaucoma treatment. It is also now available in a generic formulation. The other prostaglandin analogs available in the United States are Travatan-Z and Lumigan. You did not mention if latanoprost has been effective in lowering your eye pressure, but if it has, it may be worth considering switching to one of the alternative prostaglandin analogs, as you may better tolerate a different formulation. If you cannot tolerate the prostaglandin analogs, then your doctor can also consider prescribing medications of another class. One example is a topical beta blocker, such as timolol. Beta blockers are also very effective at lowering eye pressure. They typically do not cause side effects in the eye, but can have systemic effects such as a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, and an increase in fatigue; although, the majority of patients tolerate beta blockers fairly well. If you have asthma or other lung diseases, most doctors will avoid prescribing this class of medication, however. It is worth having a chat with your doctor about your medication options and preservative-free formulations that might work very well for you.
My husband requires constant oxygen. I have glaucoma and would like to know if the oxygen in our home can harm my eyes. [ 08/30/11 ]
Thank you for your question. The supplemental oxygen that your husband is using cannot harm your eyes in any way. I wish the best of luck to both of you.
My son is seven months old, and for over a week now I have noticed a cloudiness that seems to start on the white part of his eye that moves over to the iris. His eye also has been getting red. I'm really scared that he might have glaucoma. I have taken my son to his pediatrician and he says that he cannot see anything wrong. Recently, I took him to the urgent care facility and this doctor saw the eye changes, but he did not know what it was. What would cause these symptoms? Please help because I am very frightened for my baby. [ 08/18/11 ]
I share your concern over your son's eye. However, without examining the child, it is hard for me to ascertain whether your child has glaucoma. Some of the symptoms of childhood glaucoma are tearing, hypersensitivity to light, and squeezing of the eyelids. Sometimes we may see corneal clouding or whitening. The cornea is the clear “windowpane” of the eye in front of the iris. Your description of the “cloudiness” does not seem isolated to the cornea and may not represent a sign of glaucoma. However, it is important to have a comprehensive eye exam as there are other conditions that may need to be treated. I recommend that you bring your child to a pediatric ophthalmologist, or if there are not any in your area, a general ophthalmologist. The urgent care facility or your pediatrician can refer you to an ophthalmologist.
I was just diagnosed with glaucoma and I want to know if my eye glass prescription will change. [ 08/16/11 ]
Glaucoma affects your optic nerve and visual field, but does not affect your refractive error, which is what eyeglasses correct. Of course, your eyeglass prescription may still need updating over time as the refractive power of your eye changes. For example, as we get older, everyone eventually requires reading glasses due to presbyopia (decreased ability to focus on near objects with age).