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New Link Between Birth Control and Glaucoma

Christine Eke3 years ago

Women who take oral contraception for three years or more are twice as likely to suffer from an eye condition that could lead to blindness, a new study reports.

Correlation Between Contraceptives and Glaucoma

  • According to the Daily Mail, a study conducted established a link between oral contraceptives, versus other forms of contraception, and glaucoma.
  • Women who took oral contraceptives for three years or more had a higher risk of developing glaucoma.
  • Glaucoma occurs when drainage tubes within the eyes become blocked, preventing fluid from draining properly and causing pressure to build up, damaging the optic nerve and nerves from the retina.
  • Scientists now urge gynecologists and ophthalmologists to talk to women about the risks.
  • Because damage caused by glaucoma cannot be reversed, only treated, it is important women who take oral contraceptives to regularly screen for signs of glaucoma.

About the Birth Control Study

  • The researchers used data from 2005 to 2008 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
  • This included 3,406 female participants aged 40 years or older from across the U.S. who completed the survey’s vision and reproductive health questionnaire and underwent eye examinations
  • Women who had used oral contraceptives, no matter which kind, for longer than three years were found to be 2.05 times more likely to also report that they had been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • Although there was no direct causative effect of oral contraceptives on the development of glaucoma, it indicates that long-term use of oral contraceptives might be a potential risk factor for glaucoma
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