2020–2021 BCSC Basic and Clinical Science Course™
Chapter 12: Medical Management of Glaucoma and Ocular Hypertension
General Approach to Medical Treatment
Patient Adherence to a Medication Regimen
Glaucoma medications are effective only if patients use them. The first step toward improving patient adherence to a medication regimen is patient education. If patients understand the disease and the nature and benefits of treatment, adherence is increased; it is also enhanced when patients are aware of the possible adverse effects of a medication. Patient education should include a discussion of treatment alternatives.
The ophthalmologist must make sure that the patient understands the treatment regimen. Simpler medication regimens can improve patient adherence. The fewest number of medications, instilled with the lowest necessary frequency, is optimal. If the patient requires multiple medications and doses, it may be helpful to coordinate administration with daily events, such as meals or brushing teeth. A written schedule for medications can also be very helpful. Finally, as mentioned previously, proper instillation of eyedrops, by the patient or someone else, is essential and should be confirmed by the ophthalmologist.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 10 - Glaucoma. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.