The usual first line treatment in patients confirmed as having glaucoma is often medical therapy. Although the damage from glaucoma is related to both direct pressure on the ganglion cells in the retina that connect to the optic nerve, as well as to compromises in blood flow to the optic nerve, the current first line of treatment is to lower the intraocular pressure to reduce the risk of further damage. Bear in mind that once there is glaucomatous damage, there is usually no way to recover any of the damage. All measures are aimed at preventing further damage. This is much like other chronic diseases in the body such as diabetes.
Eye drops are medicine and, as such, can cause side effects both locally (on the eye), as well as systemically (elsewhere in the body.) It is important that you inform Dr. Schertzer and his staff of any other medications that you are taking as well as any allergies that you may have so that we will make sure to minimize the chance of any interactions. The glaucoma medications have been formulated to produce the greatest eye pressure lowering effects with the least amount of both local and systemic side effects. Despite this, people respond differently from one another so that some patients may have a great pressure lowering response with no side effects yet others may have little in the way of a pressure reduction and significant side effects. There is often no way to tell how you will respond until you are tried on the medication.