Medication and Eye Health

Did you know that certain medications can interfere with your eyesight? If you are having trouble with your vision, with eye discomfort, or with dry eyes, one of the first things you should do is come into our Pontiac office and talk with one of our eye doctors about what medications you are on and how they could be impacting your visions.

Birth Control Pills

Studies have determined that long-term use of birth control increases a woman’s overall risk of developing glaucoma. This makes your annual eye exam and glaucoma test even more important, especially as you get older. When you are taking oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy drugs, you may experience difficulty with dry eyes.


Corticosteroids are a commonly prescribed group of medications used to treat inflammatory diseases like arthritis – can cause the back of the eye to swell. They may even cause cataracts to develop with long-term use.


When your dry, itchy eyes are caused by allergies, your instinct may be to turn to an antihistamine. But chronic use of antihistamines can increase your risk of developing glaucoma.


People who take Thorazine or other medications in this family may need to monitor their eye health more carefully, because they can be toxic to the retina.

Erectile Dysfunction Medications

Both Viagra and Cialis can impact eye health. One reaction to these medications is temporary, but the other side effect – ischemic optic neuropathy – can be quite serious.  Ischemic optic neuropathy results in permanent damage to the optic nerve and is caused by blockage of the blood supply. While there are other things that cause it, it can be a side effect of erectile dysfunction medication.

While it can often be unavoidable to take these medications, it’s important to make sure your eye doctor knows what medicines you take so they can help you manage your eye health proactively. Serving Clarkston, Lake Orion, Rochester, Troy, White Lake, Fenton, Waterford, Auburn Hills, Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills, Keego Harbor, West Bloomfield, Birmingham and all of Metro Detroit with LASIK surgery. Call (248) 334-4931 or fill out a contact form here to schedule an appointment.

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