There are many medications that can affect your vision or the health of your eyes but we will only discuss a few of the common medications here. The medications we will cover include Plaquenil, Tamoxifen, and Amiodarone.
Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is a medication that is used to treat malaria and certain inflammatory conditions including Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. The area in the eye that can be affected by this medication is the macula. The macula is a structure that is in the back of the called the retina. The macula is the structure that gives you your crisp visual acuity and also your color vision. The eye doctor will test the function of your maculas and look at the structure to make sure the medication is not causing any damage to your eyes.
Tamoxifen is a medication that is used to treat Breast Cancer. The area in the eye that can be affected is the optic nerve. The optic nerve is a nerve that takes all the light information from inside the eye back to the brain where the brain processes the information and we see. The optic nerve controls many aspects of your vision but also controls your peripheral or side vision. The tests your eye doctor would run would look into the function and structure of your optic nerves to see if any damage has occurred by taking the medication.
Amiodarone is a medication that is used to treat arrhythmia of the heart. The area of the eye that can be affected my this medication is the cornea or the front of the eye, the lens of the eye, the optic nerve and sometimes the macula. Typically the eye doctor will see micro-deposits in the cornea that usually does not affect vision but can cause halos or photosensitvity. Sometimes opacities will occur in the lens which is called a cataract. Your eye doctor can do a dilated exam to see if the cornea, lens, optic nerve or macula is affected and if need be can run some specific tests once again looking at structure and function.
If you or anyone you know takes these medications or if you are concerned one of the medications you are taking could affect your eyes please call (860) 233-2020 to schedule a complete eye exam today.