Initial treatment of glaucoma: Surgery or medications

M. B. Sherwood, C. S. Migdal, R. A. Hitchings, M. Sharir, T. J. Zimmerman, J. S. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Should surgery or medications be the initial therapy for primary open angle glaucoma? In this set of articles, Drs. Sherwood, Migdal, and Hitchings present evidence suggesting that filtration surgery provides better intraocular pressure control than does medical treatment, good (or better) visual field preservation, and visual acuity as good as that in medically treated fellow eyes. They also cite cost effectiveness, quality of life, and possible adverse effects of medical treatment on future surgery. Drs. Sharir and Zimmerman, on the other hand, favor initial medical therapy, questioning the validity of some reports on surgical results, citing the risks of complications, and noting recent and current progress in the development of antiglaucoma medications. Dr. Schultz' editorial evaluates both points of view, concluding that additional prospective randomized tests may be useful and that either approach may be a viable option, as long as it is individualized to each particular patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-305
Number of pages13
JournalSurvey of Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • antiglaucoma medications
  • filtration surgery
  • glaucoma
  • primary open angle glaucoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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