Can Your Blood Pressure Medicine Make You Blind?

submitted by: admin on 06/06/2014

A study conducted over 25 years on 5000 people aged 43-86 from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine was published in the medical journal, Opthalmology, in May of 2014. This study documented that when drugs that dilate arteries to lower blood pressure, such as Apresoline (hydralazine) or Minipress (minoxidil...yes the same drug that is used to treat baldness!) are associated with a 72% greater risk of developing age related macular degeneration (AMD) than people not on these drugs. About 8% of people not on these antihypertensive drugs developed signs of early AMD but for those on them about 19% developed those signs! 

These investigators also found that beta blocker antihypertensive drugs increased the risk of wet macular degeneration (a much more serious form of macular degeneration) by 71%. However, it must be kept in mind that the increase in absolute numbers was less impressive. This risk increased from 0.5% to 1.2%. 

It is clear that the first steps in managing blood pressure should be lifestyle oriented. Exercises, diet, stress reduction, getting adequate sleep, maintaining a normal weight, and finding joy in life should be the first approach since they are safe and also more powerful than any medication!

Can Your Blood Pressure Medicine Make You Blind? (Video)

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