Researchers recently studied the effects of glaucoma medications on the conjunctiva and found that preservation rates of the borders between the conjunctival stroma, Tenon’s capsule and the sclera were inversely related to anti-glaucoma drop usage and duration.

Using anterior segment OCT (AS-OCT), the researchers obtained images of the bulbar conjunctivae of 328 eyes, of which 101 had been treated with anti-glaucoma drops and 237 had not. The researchers found that treatment with prostaglandin analogs and fixed combinations of beta blockers and prostaglandin analogs was a factor in predicting lower preservation rates of the borderlines between the conjunctival stroma and Tenon’s capsule and between Tenon’s capsule and the sclera. PGAs, the authors explained in their paper, “provoke a conjunctival inflammatory reaction because human-leukocyte-associated antigen-DR is expressed in the conjunctiva even after a short period of administration, independent of the types of prostaglandin analogs used.”

The researchers concluded that “numerous anti-glaucoma eye drops and their long-term administration are associated with the disruption of the bulbar conjunctival borderlines detected by AS-OCT.”

Gozawa M, Takamura Y, Iwasaki K, et al. Conjunctival structure of glaucotamous eyes treated with anti-glaucoma eye drops: A cross-sectional study using anterior segment optical coherence tomography. BMC Ophthalmol. 2020;20(244). [Epub ahead of print].