What is the difference between selective and non-selective beta blockers for glaucoma treatment?

Side effects. Side effects such as effects on breathing are less common with selective than with non-selective beta blockers. If blockers are used in tablet form for oral medication, eye drops may not be as effective. Choice of glaucoma treatment can depend on other medical co-conditions and side effect profile.
One is more safe. Beta blockers can either block beta1 or beta2 receptors. Beta 1 receptors are in the heart and blocking them can cause the heart to slow down causing tiredness, irregular heart beat and shortness of breath....One of the drawbacks of timolol. Selective beta blockers such as betoptic (betaxolol) are supposed to have less of an effect of this type but are best avoided if a patient is sensitive to beta blockers.

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Side effect profiles. Some selective ocular beta blockers may have fewer respiratory and cardiac side effects. This distinction is pertinent if one has severe asthma or heart issues. Your ophthalmologist can discuss this in more detail for your situation. Read more...
Non-selective. Agents work better to lower pressure. If there is uncontrolled asthma or copd, they should not be used. Selective agents were developed to reduce side effects, but they are rarely used today. This is old school glaucoma treatment. Read more...