Beta-blocker eye drops used to treat glaucoma may well cause bronchial problems, including bronchospasms, in elderly patients who never had the symptoms before. Researchers believe this can happen in up to 25 per cent of all patients.

Dr Paul Diggory, from Mayday Hospital in Croydon, England, believes the evidence he has discovered is overwhelming enough for ophthalmologists to change their treatment, even if patients are not currently complaining of breathlessness.

He pointed out that other options are open to doctors to treat glaucoma, and should be used in light of his findings (The Lancet, September 16, 1995).

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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