Glaucoma drug compliance linked to age

June 14, 2007

Glaucoma medication compliance and effectiveness of drug administration correlates with age and severity of disease.

Glaucoma medication compliance and effectiveness of drug administration correlates with age and severity of disease, according to a report presented at the annual meeting of the French Society of Ophthalmology.

Florent Aptel, MD and colleagues asked patients to complete a questionnaire concerning non-observance of treatment schedules. In addition, visual field examinations were performed and patients were asked to apply eye drops in the same way as they would at home.

Twenty-four percent of patients admitted non-compliance and approximately 20% instilled their drops outside of the eye. The non-compliant patients were mainly younger or those with earlier stages of the disease. Those who had difficulty in applying the drops tended to be older, with poorer visual acuity and larger visual field defects.

Based on this data the researchers identified two typical patient groups. The first are the relatively young patients with early stage glaucoma, which does not have a significant impact on their life. These subjects are able to carry out the instillation properly but are likely to be less compliant. The second group comprises of the older patients who have more advanced glaucoma, which does have a significant impact on their day-to-day life. These are more compliant but have difficulties performing the instillation correctly, often allowing all or part of the medication to drop outside of the eye.

This study suggests that compliance and drug administration in glaucoma patients can be directly correlated to age and disease severity.