Those over-the-counter cold and flu medicines can cause a severe eye disease, doctors warn

Posted at 1:42 PM, Jan 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-08 14:42:29-05

Some Michigan doctors are warning people that over-the-counter cold medicines can cause a severe form of glaucoma.

Anticholinergic drugs, such as certain cold and flu medicines, can cause acute angle closure glaucoma .

This causes the pupils to dilate, trapping fluid between the iris and cornea.

This creates a lot of pain and pressure, which is often mistaken for migraines or sinus issues.

Some antibiotics and anti-depressants are also anticholinergics.

Although anticholinergics can cause negative side effects for anyone, it is most common for people older than 50 or those with a smaller gap between their iris and cornea to experience this type of glaucoma as a result of taking these medications.

Check the labels on the back of medicines and discuss specific medications with an eye care professional if you are concerned.