Which Medication is Right for your Glaucoma?
There are currently many options for glaucoma treatment. You can choose surgery (trabulectomy), the implantation of a shunt, or many different types of medications and eye drops, all designed to help with your symptoms. With treatment, glaucoma symptoms and intraocular pressure can be significantly slowed and even stopped. However, how do you know which is right for your eyes?
Three types of eye drops for glaucoma, also called prostaglandins, are all rumored to be the best at treating intraocular pressure. Xalatan, Travatan and Lumigan all work by regulating the flow of fluids in the eye. This prevents buildup in the eye, which puts pressure on the optic nerve. Over time, this pressure can cause permanent blindness.
But how do you know which prostaglandin is the best?
Xalatan, also called latanoprost, was recently approved in the United States as a generic alternative. This means it can be bought for significantly lower prices than when it was brand name. Because of this, many patients are reporting that Xalatan is being covered by their health insurance. Xalatan tends to cause the least eye redness in comparison to Travatan and Lumigan, but some patients are reporting a slight sting upon application.
Travatan was once trailing in the competition for glaucoma eye drops, but with its new BAK-free formulation, Travatan Z, it is rapidly catching up to Xalatan. “BAK” is benzalkonium chloride, which has been known to cause eye irritation. Travatan Z has replaced this ingredient with sofziatim, producing more positive results in patients. Travatan Z is good for long-term medication users, as it is much less likely than the original Travatan to cause damage to the ocular surface, which can cause ocular surface disease (dry eye).
The third leader in reducing ocular pressure is Lumigan, generically named bimatoprost. Lumigan is one of the oldest treatments for glaucoma. However, it has been known to cause eye redness. Lumigan has also been prescribed for to help grow eyelashes, which is a common side effect of glaucoma eye drops.
All three of these ophthalmic solutions are used to help treat open angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension (pressure inside the eye), only your doctor will be able to tell you which eye drops are the best to buy: Travatan, Lumigan or generic Xalatan.