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Several Problems Inhibit Glaucoma Treatment

Cost, forgetfulness and trouble using eye drops make it difficult to adhere to regime

THURSDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Glaucoma patients receiving adjunctive therapy find it hard to follow their medication regime for several reasons, including problems administering eye drops and paying for the medication, according to a study in the March issue of Ophthalmology.

Betsy Sleath, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues surveyed 324 patients using more than one glaucoma medication to establish whether or not they had fully adhered to their treatment in the previous week.

Sixty percent of those surveyed reported problems taking their glaucoma medication, and 14 percent reported less than full adherence in the previous week. Poor adherence was associated with difficulty remembering to take the medication and with other problems and concerns over the drugs. Problems included difficulty administering the eye drops (44 percent), paying for the medication (41 percent), reading the label (18 percent), side effects (16 percent), difficulty squeezing the bottle (14 percent) and difficulty getting the seal off (12 percent).

"Most patients with chronic diseases typically take oral medications. Glaucoma patients use eye drops, which may be more difficult to administer," the authors wrote. "Patient compliance is essential for effective medication intervention and for minimizing peripheral and central vision loss."

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