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  • Vision Changes and BP Meds

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    Old 02-03-2008, 08:38 AM   #1
    bethsheba
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    Vision Changes and BP Meds

    Over the course of 3 years, I experienced vision changes requiring different prescription eyeglasses.

    It never occurred to me that my meds might be changing my vision until I had a nasty fall (due to atenolol) that crushed my newest prescription, forcing me to wear eyeglasses that were (give or take) 5 years old (I had donated my latest prescriptions to a good cause because I couldn't see well enough with them to use them as back up glasses). When I put on the old eyeglasses, I could see PERFECTLY! When I asked the er doctor if my blood pressure medication could be changing my vision, I was told "no". After evaluating me for neurological injury, they called in the opthamologist because there was concern about a possible torn retina. I asked the opthamologist if there was any correlation between my blood pressure med and my vision changes. I was told "no". When I went into visit my primary care doc for a follow up visit, I asked if the bp medication could be causing vision changes, I was told "no". I checked with my optometrist, he said "no".

    In the past year I've read in the literature that 2 medications that I was on could cause vision changes....hydrochlorothiazide and atenolol. This morning, I was reading the 2008 version of the nurse's PDR and discovered the third med I was on that caused visual changes...lisinopril.

    When I first started reading about bp meds and vision changes, I was concerned because it seems that extremely high blood pressure can cause vision changes, too....so I didn't know if I unknowingly had very high blood pressure (I didn't have a monitor the 3 years I was on meds) or if it was because of meds. But given the fact that my vision is perfect with eyeglasses that I used when I didn't have high blood pressure, I think it's safe to assume it was the meds.

    It's kind of scary to think sometimes it takes more than a second opinion to get the info that applies to you.

    Bethsheba

    PS I have read literature that describes visual changes as an allergic reaction, a side effect, and as an overdose. Sounds like it may be a rare occurance...but you know what I say to that...it probably happens more than they realize...it's just not recognized (as in my case) and if it is, it's not reported!

    Last edited by bethsheba; 02-03-2008 at 09:04 AM.

     
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    Old 02-03-2008, 10:07 AM   #2
    famnd
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    Re: Vision Changes and BP Meds

    Beth,

    Sounds as if there wasn't any permanent damage to your eyes which is terrific. There are more tests that an opthalmologist can do now so we should all get tested once a year when we are on these b/p meds.

    Glad you got your PDR.

    There is another one that has the active & inactive ingredients called the Physician's PDR. It is a hugh book which most libraries have. The info will be just like the pkg inserts. It is updated every year I believe. I have a 98' copy. Fam

     
    Old 02-03-2008, 11:31 AM   #3
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    Re: Vision Changes and BP Meds

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bethsheba View Post
    ... When I asked the er doctor if my blood pressure medication could be changing my vision, I was told "no". ... I asked the opthamologist if there was any correlation between my blood pressure med and my vision changes. I was told "no". When I went into visit my primary care doc for a follow up visit, I asked if the bp medication could be causing vision changes, I was told "no". I checked with my optometrist, he said "no".
    They should have been honest and told you that they didn't "know", instead of "no". These guys put on doctor's clothes and, all of a sudden, they are supposed to be very knowledgeable about medical science and health problems. Most doctors and health professionals just have a superficial knowledge of medical science, and just spend their days writing the same prescriptions, and doing the same tests, over and over again, without any regard for the outcomes, efficacy and patient reactions to the medications.

    Now that I've gotten that off my chest...... Back before my modified Dash Diet, when my blood pressure was not healthy, I used to get Migraine Aura, which represented as weird strings of lights across my vision, and effected my vision so that my glasses no longer worked as well. Sometimes, I would get a Migraine Aura with just the vision disturbances, and without the lights. I didn't get the headache with the Aura, just the vision problems. I thought that I needed new glasses, but the next time I used my glasses, my vision was perfect.

    Prior to my diet, I used to get these Auras almost daily. Now, I might get one once a month.

    This might have nothing to do with your vision experiences.

    Quote:
    In the past year I've read in the literature that 2 medications that I was on could cause vision changes....hydrochlorothiazide and atenolol. This morning, I was reading the 2008 version of the nurse's PDR and discovered the third med I was on that caused visual changes...lisinopril.
    For these doctors to just definitively discard any connection between your medication and your vision disturbances, when you (as a non medical person) could easily read medical documents saying that vision problems COULD come from the medication, does a disservice to patients, such as you, and results in increased stress and hopelessness to patients.

    Such is the status of our medical system today, sad to say.

    Best regards! Enjoy the Super Bowl, I will!
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    Old 02-03-2008, 11:52 AM   #4
    wamylove
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    Re: Vision Changes and BP Meds

    Amen to all you said about the state of the medical profession. It's shameful (and often just criminal), in my opinion.

     
    Old 02-04-2008, 05:11 AM   #5
    bethsheba
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    Re: Vision Changes and BP Meds

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by famnd View Post
    ... There are more tests that an opthalmologist can do now so we should all get tested once a year when we are on these b/p meds.
    I think we should get our eyes tested once a year whether no matter what...but especially if we are on bp meds. Several of our posters said their eye doctors were the ones who identified bp problems as some "symptoms" show up in our eyes.

    Quote:
    ...Glad you got your PDR.
    I was visiting someone I knew and looked briefly at hers. Famnd, it's a MARVELOUS little handbook and I will get one. Anyone on meds should have a copy, in my opinion. But again, it is only 1 source of info and one shouldn't rely on it entirely. It's funny how some symptoms that weren't commonly listed as side effects (like nausea and vomiting) in some of the literature were listed in the pdr and vice versa. Again, one should never rely on only one source of info. I was also pleased to notice the notations regarding nutritional and "health" supplements. People REALLY need to tell their doctors if they are taking more than just their meds.

    Quote:
    There is another one that has the active & inactive ingredients called the Physician's PDR. It is a hugh book which most libraries have. ...
    I will look into this. Famnd, I did chart all of the ingredients in the meds I took, but see little pattern. Must take my list to the library.

    Bethsheba

     
    Old 02-04-2008, 05:25 AM   #6
    bethsheba
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    Re: Vision Changes and BP Meds

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beerzoids View Post
    They should have been honest and told you that they didn't "know", instead of "no".
    Yes, I agree...or better yet, they could have said "Let me check" It took me only a minute or two to find the info in the nurses' Physicians Desk Reference. That little minute or two would have saved me over $1000 (out of pocket) in wasted trips to my eye doctor and in useless eyeglass prescriptions, not to mention the problems I had seeing well enough to do activities of daily living.

    Quote:
    ...Back before my modified Dash Diet, when my blood pressure was not healthy, I used to get Migraine Aura, which represented as weird strings of lights across my vision, and effected my vision so that my glasses no longer worked as well. Sometimes, I would get a Migraine Aura with just the vision disturbances, and without the lights. I didn't get the headache with the Aura, just the vision problems. I thought that I needed new glasses, but the next time I used my glasses, my vision was perfect.

    Prior to my diet, I used to get these Auras almost daily. Now, I might get one once a month.

    This might have nothing to do with your vision experiences.
    I don't know if it would or not...but I'm glad you told us about it...we need to be aware of these things because even if they don't apply to us now, they may make us aware of problems down the road, for ourselves or for others.

    Quote:
    For these doctors to just definitively discard any connection between your medication and your vision disturbances, when you (as a non medical person) could easily read medical documents saying that vision problems COULD come from the medication, does a disservice to patients, such as you, and results in increased stress and hopelessness to patients.

    Such is the status of our medical system today, sad to say.....
    Yes, I can't believe that they can't read and/or comprehend "blurred vision" on the list of side effects/adverse reactions/overdose.

    Thanks for your insights and comments, Beerzoids.

    Again, I take comfort in knowing that you're there.

    Bethsheba

    Last edited by bethsheba; 02-04-2008 at 05:26 AM.

     
    Old 02-04-2008, 05:30 AM   #7
    bethsheba
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    Re: Vision Changes and BP Meds

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wamylove View Post
    Amen to all you said about the state of the medical profession. It's shameful (and often just criminal), in my opinion.
    Thanks for your comments, wamylove...

    It is so important for us to be active participants in our health care. We may not have medical knowlege, but we have the tools available to prevent some pretty basic mess ups. I should have known better...

    Bethsheba

     
    Old 02-04-2008, 02:33 PM   #8
    Machaon
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    Re: Vision Changes and BP Meds

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wamylove View Post
    Amen to all you said about the state of the medical profession. It's shameful (and often just criminal), in my opinion.
    Shameful is right.

    There are many posts on HealthBoards asking about medications, and side effects from medications, and reactions to medications. There are many more from people asking why they are feeling ill, and asking about their symptoms and why they can't get their blood pressure under control, and why they can't get their hearts to beat normal, regardless of dieting, or lifestyle changes, or how many pills that they take.

    The one thing that all of these people have in common is that they can't get answers, or solutions, for their health problems, from their high paid doctors, so in desperation, they ask other patients, here at HBs, to see if another patient can help them.

    Many times, people, get a lot more help here at HBs, from other patients, than they do from their own doctors!

    Should be the other way around, shouldn't it?
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    Last edited by Machaon; 02-04-2008 at 02:35 PM.

     
    Old 02-05-2008, 05:58 AM   #9
    bethsheba
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    Re: Vision Changes and BP Meds

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beerzoids View Post
    ...Should be the other way around, shouldn't it?
    Yes, it should but as patients, we don't do a very good job of training our doctors. I should make copies of the documentation that lists blurry vision or changes in vision as a side effect of the drugs I was on and send the info in certified letters to my doctors.

    If I had found this literature sooner, I would have done so...but I doubt it would have any impact 1-2 years after the fact.

    Bethsheba

     
    Old 02-05-2008, 06:29 AM   #10
    Machaon
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    Re: Vision Changes and BP Meds

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bethsheba View Post
    Yes, it should but as patients, we don't do a very good job of training our doctors.
    That's a scary thought. Having to train one's own doctor, though I agree with you. A lot of preparation, ahead of time, before our visit to the doctor, can really improve results.

    But, it should be the other way around. The doctors should realize that most of their patients are already at high anxiety and stress levels, and they don't know what to ask, and they are concerned that the doctor is going to find some nasty, expensive health problem, and their patients have a bunch of other problems on their minds.

    A good, kind, understanding, COMPETENT doctor would take the time to reassure the patient, dig deep and find out all of the patients symptoms, and do appropriate, least expensive testing. And..... have enough knowledge and training to be able to better diagnose the patient's health problems, and....... come up with better solutions.

    Quote:
    I should make copies of the documentation that lists blurry vision or changes in vision as a side effect of the drugs I was on and send the info in certified letters to my doctors.
    And.... your doctor would probably ignore it, or somehow find a way to discount your efforts.

    I once contracted a hospital resistance infection, in an emergency room, from the oxygen hose placed in my nose. I was there for problems with my heart failure.

    I went to an ENT, who said that he also had a hospital resistant infection in his nostrils. I had to treat my nostrils with antibiotics, several times ever day, for several years. All the while I experimented with other things, trying to get rid of that stupid infection. I finally found a solution, and called my doctor, so that he could get rid of his infection, and perhaps use the same solution to treat his patients. I left a message with the nurse, saying that I had found a solution, and for him to call me if he was interested, and to cancel my next appointment. .......... never got a call-back.

    Take care, Bethsheba ........
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    Last edited by Machaon; 02-05-2008 at 06:31 AM.

     
    Old 02-05-2008, 10:37 AM   #11
    bethsheba
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    Re: Vision Changes and BP Meds

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beerzoids View Post
    That's a scary thought. Having to train one's own doctor, though I agree with you. A lot of preparation, ahead of time, before our visit to the doctor, can really improve results.
    Yes, I do so agree...but even when I prepare ahead, I don't think well on my feet, , so I am sometimes more effective with a follow up call, .

    Quote:
    ...A good, kind, understanding, COMPETENT doctor would take the time to reassure the patient, dig deep and find out all of the patients symptoms, and do appropriate, least expensive testing. And..... have enough knowledge and training to be able to better diagnose the patient's health problems, and....... come up with better solutions.
    My doctor was/is considered good, kind, understanding, and competent but unfortunately I don't think he takes the time!!!

    Quote:
    ....And.... your doctor would probably ignore it, or somehow find a way to discount your efforts.
    This was certainly the case in the exam room...it's when I first experienced a doctor with "rolled eye syndrome".

    Quote:
    ...I finally found a solution, and called my doctor, so that he could get rid of his infection, and perhaps use the same solution to treat his patients. I left a message with the nurse, saying that I had found a solution, and for him to call me if he was interested, and to cancel my next appointment. .......... never got a call-back. ...
    I'm sorry that you had to experience that entire scenario! And despite how sad your story is, it does relieve me of some of my guilt. They either don't want to know, or don't take the time to follow up. And the viscious cycle continues.

    Bethsheba

    Last edited by bethsheba; 02-05-2008 at 10:38 AM.

     
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