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Ipratropium bromide (Atrovent) is an anticholingeric drug. In general, anticholinergic drugs, including ipratropium cause the blockade of the iris
constrictor sphincter muscle of the eye, leaving the dilator muscle controlled by a different set of nerves (sympathic nerves) unopposed. The net effect is dilation of the pupil with the root of the iris push into and partially or completely blocking the channel that allows the aqueous fluid the bath the lens
from draining away. If this happens, the accumulated fluid can cause pressure in the eye to rise and damage the big nerve (optic nerve) at the back of the eye which helps you see. The possibility of ipratropium causing enough blockade of the fluid drainage channels to cause glaucoma is likely only in persons with narrow or small space in the area containing the channels. Persons with regular open angle without narrow angles are not at risk. So, I suggest that you ask that your eye doctor evaluate your eye closely to determine what type of drainage angle
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Edited by Dr. Stan on 1/7/2010 at 12:52 AM EST