Medications And Your Eye Sight.
In addition to being "windows to the soul," your eyes are also windows into your health. Not just your eye health, but your overall health. In addition to eye disease, your doctor can look for such things as diabetes, high blood pressure and other general health conditions. Because of this, and because your eyecare professional may be recommending an eye medication as part of your treatment, it's important to understand how eye sight medication might interact with any other medications you may currently be using. Since eye doctors can use your eye health as a predictor or measure of your general health, all medications that could affect your eyes need to be discussed with your eyecare professional, not just your eye medication.
Why other medications affect your eye sight.
Because of its rich blood supply and relatively small mass, the eye is susceptible to certain drugs and toxic agents. Many medications, both prescription and nonprescription (over the counter) can alter the quantity or the quality of your vision, or pose a threat to your future eye health.
Your current medications and healthy sight actually go hand in hand, and need to be discussed with your eye doctor.
How other medications affect your eye sight.
Potential adverse effects of medications on your eyes can be classified into three basic categories:
- Medications that can cause blurred vision or alter your eyes' ability to adjust to the environment can affect your quantity of vision.
- Medications that can induce glare, increase light sensitivity, or impair light-dark adaptation affect your quality of vision.
- Medications that can contribute to the development of ocular disorders and other eye problems.
Certain medications can become a factor in developing disorders such as: cataracts, keratopathies, retinopathies, maculopathies, optic neuropathies, and glaucoma. These potential effects of certain medications are typically long term, potentially more serious, and pose a greater threat to vision. However, their progression can usually be prevented (or limited) if recognized early and the offending agent is discontinued or the dosage reduced.
Other factors connecting medication and eye sight.
There is a growing body of evidence connecting chronic UV exposure with vision-threatening ocular disorders such as cataracts. Medications that either dilate the pupil (increasing the amount of UV rays entering the eye) or increase the effects of UV on the eye (photosensitizers) may increase the risk of developing UV-related eye disease.
If you are concerned about the effects your medications may have on your eyes, or experience any eye-related side effects or eye problems, you should consult your primary care doctor or eyecare professional.
The information seen here is for reference purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or to diagnose or prescribe any specific treatment(s). For all questions and concerns about your vision, eye health and potential eye problems, please consult an eyecare professional.
Special thanks to the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, for source material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the NEI/NIH website.