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  • Medications that can Cause Retina Damage

  • Your retina is a layer of light-sensitive tissue which lines the inside of your eye. The layers of the retina are composed of nerve cells just like your brain. Birth control pills can lead to many eye problems, including retinal vascular problems.

    1. Chloroquine, an anti-malaria and arthritis medication, may lead to retinal detachment, reduced color vision, blind spots, and blurred central vision. This may be related to the total amount of the medication taken over time.
    2. Clonidine, brand name Catapres, is a drug used to lower your blood pressure.
    3. Cocaine has been shown to lead to retinal artery occlusion and rapid, often irreversible loss of vision.
    4. NSAIDS. i.e., Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs can bring about side effects impacting your eyes. These side effects are dry eyes, cataracts, and retinal hemorrhages that may result from long-term use. These include Ibuprofen, e.g., Motrin, Advil, Aleve, Bayer, aspirin, ketoprofen, Flurbiprofen, and Naproxen Sodium. Acetaminophen, or Tylenol, while not an NSAID, can be harmful to your vision.
    5. Oral antibiotics such as Levofloxacine (Cravit, Levaquin) and Fluoroquinolones, Ciprofloxacin (Zoxan, Cipro, Proquin) ("Oral Fluoroquinolones and the Risk of Retinal Detachment", April 4, 2012, JAMA) have been connected to detached retinas.
    6. Plaquenil or Hydroxchloriquine Sulfate, routinely prescribed by rheumatologists for rheumatoid arthritis, can cause irreversible retinal damage.
    7. Tamoxifen, prescribed after breast cancer treatment, can lead to crystalline deposits in your retina.
    8. Thioridazine, used for schizophrenia, can cause pigmentary retinopathy as well as other serious side effects.
  • Health Conditions Causing Retina Damage

    There are many health conditions that will cause retina damage.  These include:

    • Elevated blood sugar such as in pre-diabetes and diabetes patients. Sugar imbalances will damage your retina.
    • Chronic inflammatory conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn's disease.
    • Heart disease, poor circulation, high blood pressure.
    • Chronic digestive issues.
    • Poor circulation or tightly fitting contact lenses.
  • Retina Damage Symptoms

    Symptoms of retinal damage are:

    • Dim central vision.
    • Distorted central vision.
    • Straight lines that appear wavy.
    • Spots in the central vision that may appear blurry or dark.
    • Images that appear and then disappear.