Glaucoma and meds

Long story short, I have a history of acute angle closure glaucoma going back 30 odd years, but it’s also been that long since I’ve had an episode. Treated back then with laser and surgical iridectomies, it seemed that I had been CURED. Until the Saturday just gone.

So I developed the tell-tale symptoms, blurred vision, haloes around lights and PAIN, fuck the pain is a dead give away innit? Got off to a hospital where they checked me in, checked my IOP (which at that point was 76) and set about giving me mega doses of eyedrops etc to reduce the pressures,

Now they worked, I have to say, By midnight my pressures were down to a more respectable 20.However one of the meds, pilocarpine, had the side effect of producing as much pain as the glaucoma attack itself, and it would go on for a good hour or more with no analgesia being able to touch it! And since Saturday, it’s still the bloody same. Oh, and my pressures are now at 4.

Anybody got any advice??

I’ve had glaucoma for 20 years or so, but it has never caused me pain. A pressure of 76 sounds off the chart, and not a number that I would have even thought possible. When diagnosed mine was 24.

Is pilocarpine the one that burns like battery acid? I was on it until surgery obviated its need, at least for now. But the burning, while uncomfortable, only lasted a minute or two in my case.

How did you check your pressure at midnight? Is there some home device available?

Anyway, maybe you are due for another surgery?

Best of luck.


Yeah, an IOP as high as mine was, was pretty much ‘off the charts’. And damn if it felt like it too. Reason I was able to get my pressure checked at midnight is because I had been admitted as an inpatient not long after I arrived in A & E, what with glaucoma being considered a medical emergency and all that. So I had a couple of hours of eyedrops 5 minutes apart, diuretics and a jab of something or other in my arm, with my pressures being checked every hour or so.

Yeah, pilocarpine is the one that stings to the buggery, which is how I remembered it from my previous encounters. But this one must be a higher dose, because it causes a pain exactly like the pain of glaucoma and can last an hour or more. The ophthalmologist acknowledged that it was a noted issue, but apart from taking panadol (I think your equivalent is Tylenol) and an anti inflammatory, there was not much that could be done. But thankfully today, the pain has been blessedly absent!