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Eye Health Center

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Could My Medications Cause Vision Problems?

Sensitivity to Light

Do you reach for your sunglasses, squint, or shield your eyes more often? If you take any of these medications, you could become super-sensitive to light:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Antibiotics
  • Acne meds
  • Diuretics used to treat high blood pressure

Stay out of the sun during peak hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) to protect your eyes. And wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to block UV rays.

Glaucoma

This happens when there’s increased pressure in your eye or its main nerve gets damaged. It can lead to vision loss and even blindness if you don't get it treated.

Several medications, like corticosteroids, can trigger glaucoma. Doctors don’t know why. Some think it’s because the drugs change the eye’s structure and allow fluid and other materials to build up.

“When you’re prescribed steroids, your doctor may make sure that you receive more frequent eye exams to catch any issues early,” Barber says.

There are many types of glaucoma. One, acute angle-closure glaucoma, is a medical emergency. It happens when fluid at the front of your eye gets trapped and causes a sudden rise in pressure. Left untreated, it could lead to blindness.

Call an ophthalmologist immediately if you have a combination of these symptoms:

  • Severe eye pain with nausea
  • Redness of the eye
  • Blurred vision

Medications used for depression, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, ulcers, asthma, arrhythmia, and hemorrhoids can cause this type of glaucoma, too.

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Reviewed on November 17, 2015

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