Satisfaction With Glaucoma Medication Depends on Ocular Surface Health

The presence of ocular surface disease and side effects are the primary reasons for patients' dissatisfaction with glaucoma medication.

Patients’ satisfaction with glaucoma medication directly correlates with the absence of ocular surface side effects and disease, according to a study published in Clinical Optometry. While a majority of individuals report satisfaction with their medication, a non negligible percentage of patients remain unsatisfied, according to the report.

Researchers included 395 patients with glaucoma (median age, 63 years; 66.6% men) in a hospital-based, cross-sectional study conducted between June 30 and August 27, 2021. The response rate was 93.38% and 99.7% of study participants used timolol. Patients participated in semi-structured questionnaires during which they provided sociodemographic and clinical data and reported their satisfaction levels with medications using a 5-point Likert scale (very unsatisfied, 1; very satisfied, 5).

Efforts to improve patient satisfaction should focus on ocular side effects and OSD.

“Satisfaction with medication is important since glaucoma is chronic, asymptomatic, and can lead to irreversible vision loss and predicts patients’ continuation of pharmaceutical treatment, correct medication usage, and compliance with medication regimens,” the study authors explain.

Overall patient satisfaction with topical anti-glaucoma medication was 62.5% (95% CI, 57.5%-67.8%), according to the report. Study participants reported 2 major factors affecting their satisfaction — the absence of ocular surface side effects (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 5.39; 95% CI, 2.35–12.37) and the absence of ocular surface diseases (AOR, 4.12, 95% CI, 1.69–10.09). Age, glaucoma type and severity, and medication frequency did not affect patient satisfaction, the report shows.

“The absence of ocular side effects of topical anti-glaucoma medications and the absence of [ocular surface diseases] were areas identified to be significantly associated with patients’ satisfaction with topical anti-glaucoma medications,” according to the researchers. “Efforts to improve patient satisfaction should focus on ocular side effects and [ocular surface disease].”

Study limitations include a single center design, a small sample of participants using anti glaucoma medications other than timolol, potential recall bias, and the use of a small number of patient satisfaction questions. 


Belie NY, Ayele FA, Mengist B, et al. Patients’ satisfaction with topical anti-glaucoma medications and associated factors at Gondar University Tertiary Eye Care and Training Center, Northwest Ethiopia, 2021Clin Optom. Published online June 19, 2023. doi:10.2147/OPTO.S411390