Patient support

The IGA (International Glaucoma Association) is a charity for people with glaucoma. The IGA provides information, literature, advice and funds essential research to prevent unnecessary loss of sight through early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

Dry eye disease and glaucoma

Dry eye disease and glaucoma commonly appear together. Studies suggest that 50–60 per cent of people who are being treated for glaucoma also have dry eye.

Managing both conditions effectively is important but can be challenging. Glaucoma is usually treated as a priority as it can cause vision loss, but dry eye symptoms are often reported as more troublesome for the individual. Eye drops used to treat glaucoma can cause dry eye symptoms. Switching to preservative-free glaucoma drops helps in patients who have dry eye and glaucoma.

If your glaucoma eye drops seem to be causing redness and stinging of your eyes, talk to your glaucoma specialist. There may be alternative eye drops, or alternative ways to reduce the eye pressure, including laser treatment or other options. Alternative eye drops include preservative-free eye drops and eye drop solutions rather than suspensions.

Maintaining good oily tear production by using gentle daily hot eyelid compresses, addressing lifestyle factors and using artificial tear supplements are the best ways to manage dry eye associated with glaucoma. Both conditions are long-term but manageable.