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The American Optometric Association (AOA) Guidelines classify glaucoma as a group of eye disorders that lead to damage of the optic nerve with a defect in the retinal nerve fiber layer resulting in visual field loss. Glaucoma is a chronic, progressive disorder and if not diagnosed early and treated appropriately, it can lead to an irreversible decline in eyesight.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the US. The most common type of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, affects approximately 3 million individuals in the US. The prevalence is estimated to reach 7 million by 2050, due to the increased prevalence of glaucoma in older adults and the growth of the elderly population in the US.
Many classes of medications are used in the management of glaucoma, including prostaglandin analogs, beta-adrenergic blockers, alpha2-adrenergic agonists, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, and cholinergic agents. Prostaglandin analogs or beta blockers are usually considered first-line therapy, although prostaglandin analogs are increasingly preferred.3 Factors that should be taken into account when deciding what agent(s) to initiate include efficacy, side effects, cost, and dosing frequency. There are a number of barriers to adherence with glaucoma medication.4 Healthcare professionals should be aware of these barriers and assess for their presence frequently.
Important aspects of patient education include reviewing potential medication complications, counseling on proper administration technique, and coping strategies for medication management with vision loss.
This program was developed by The Rx Consultant and published by Continuing Education Network, Inc. The Rx Consultant accepts no advertising or financial support from the pharmaceutical industry and is funded solely by the purchase of programs. The Rx Consultant is dedicated to providing unbiased, balanced information to health care practitioners.
Programs developed by The Rx Consultant are written by health care providers with expertise in the topic area, peer-reviewed, extensively edited, and fact-checked. This development process was created to insure that every program presents information that is current, accurate, relevant to "real world" health care providers, and written in an easy reading, "plain English" style.
The Rx Consultant is a publication of Continuing Education Network, Inc.
ACPE Universal Activity Number: 0428-0000-16-005-H01-P
Chief Editor and CE Administrator
Terry M. Baker, PharmD
Tracy Farnen, PharmD
James Chan, PharmD, PhD
Pharmacy Quality and Outcomes Coordinator
Associate Clinical Professor
Richard Ron Finley, B.S. Pharm.,R.Ph.
Consult Pharmacist Aging and Adult Health Services
Julio R. Lopez, PharmD, FCSHP
Adjunct Clinical Professor
Assistant Clinical Professor
Visiting Associate Professor and Lecturer
Pamela Mausner, MD
Helen Berlie, Pharm.D. CDE, BCACP
Ambulatory Care Specialist - Diabetes
Senior Editorial Advisor
Gerard Hatheway, PharmD, PhD
Belinda M. Danielson, RPh
Christopher M. DeSoto, PharmD
Angie S. Graham, PharmD
Cynthia Chan Huang, PharmD, MBA
Fred Plageman, PharmD
Editorial Advisor and Clinical Practice Consultant for Nurse Practitioners
Meuleman, RN, C, MS
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