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5 Types Of Medicines that Can Affect Your Eyes

The human body is a collection of tissues and organs that are intimately connected. Here is a comprehensive list of the most common medications taken in Canada and their potential negative effects on the eyes. 

It’s important to remember that the eyes are connected to many other systems in the human body. That makes routine eye exams an important part of preventative healthcare - regardless of your age or physical health.

Aside from just determining the prescription for your eyeglasses, yearly checkups give your eye doctor the chance to detect possible signs of serious health conditions. These can include:

  • Cancer
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Brain tumors
Complete Eye Health Care at Market Mall Optometry

From helping you select the right pair of eyeglasses, to glaucoma testing and dry eye care, our Calgary optometrists provide comprehensive vision services to ensure the eye health of your entire family.

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Common Medicines That Can Have a Harmful Effect On Your Eyes

Given that your eyes are intimately connected to all the other organs in your body, there are some commonly-taken drugs that can negatively impact your vision over time, and should be monitored by your eye doctor.

These include drugs used for:  

1. Acne Treatment

Acne is a very common skin condition in Canada and is often treated using drugs such as Isotretinoin and Accutane. While these are very effective in clearing the skin, they can have potential ocular side effects.

These include:

  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Redness/burning eyes
  • Temporary vision distortion

2. Alzheimers

Cholinesterase hemorrhaging inhibitors, often prescribed to those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, can sometimes contribute to hemorrhaging in the eye. 

This may result in:

  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • The appearance of the eye being filled with blood

3. Antihistamines

Antihistamines can be a contributing cause of cataracts, as well as increasing light sensitivity and exacerbating dry eye syndrome.

NOTE: Antihistamines can be very harmful to patients with angle-closure glaucoma. These medications can trigger an attack resulting in blurred vision, redness, halos around lighted objects and pain. If this happens, it’s important to seek eye emergency care IMMEDIATELY.



4. Blood Pressure

Blood pressure medications cause your body to excrete excess fluid and give your blood vessels a break. However, in the eyes, less fluid means:

  • Dry eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred/double vision

In some cases, the use of beta blockers has been tied to a significant increase of wet macular degeneration, a more severe and advanced form of AMD.



5. Diabetes

Some oral anti-diabetes drugs are photosensitizing. They absorb light energy and undergo a photochemical reaction resulting in chemical modification of tissue. This can make patients more vulnerable to cataracts and macular degeneration.



Medication Side Effect And Dry Eye Care in Calgary

Medication Side Effect Care

Ocular side effects for medication can be avoided and/or limited by taking some steps in cooperation with both your eye doctor and your family doctor. You should always make sure your family doctor is aware of any eye conditions you may have, as well as let your optometrist know if you have started or changed a new prescription. This ensures your health care providers can avoid prescribing you anything that would exacerbate an existing eye condition or interefere with other medications.

Dry Eye Care

Whether you are experiencing dry eyes from the medications you are taking or from other factors such as prolonged computer use, our Calgary optometrists understand how this condition can affect the quality of your everyday life.

Depending on your unique needs, we provide personalized dry eye care treatments including:

  • Artificial tears
  • Prescription eye drops
  • Steroid eye-drops
  • Punctal plugs
  • Warm compresses

When you book a comprehensive eye exam, our optometrists will take the time to accurately assess the severity of dryness and prescribe the most appropriate treatment options.



Call Today

To find out more about our vision services, including dry eye care, glaucoma testing and cataract management, contact our Calgary eye doctors at 403-286-4884 or book an eye exam today.

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