Blood Pressure Drugs Significantly Increase Cataract Risk
An Australian study has found that some blood pressure medication strongly increases the risk of developing cataracts. The two categories of drugs linked to cataracts are beta blockers and ACE inhibitors. Beta blocker users were 61 percent more likely to end up having cataract surgery, while users of ACE inhibitors were 54 percent more likely to require surgery.
Beta blockers are very commonly prescribed; they block the effects of adrenalin and noradrenalin on the heart. Beta blockers slow down the heart rate and reduce the force of the heart’s contractions. This means less blood is pumped through the arteries, therefore blood pressure goes down. Common brand names of beta blockers are Tenormin, Lopresor, Betaloc, Inderal, and Visken.
ACE inhibitors are also known as Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors; they block the production of a hormone that causes narrowing of blood vessels. Therefore blood vessels widen and blood can flow more easily. Some brand names of ACE inhibitors are Capoten, Monopril, Zestril, Prinivil, Coversyl, Accupril, and Renitec.
Both of these drugs are effective at lowering blood pressure; however, they do have undesirable side effects. Fatigue, lethargy, a dry cough, fluid retention, and erectile dysfunction are common side effects. The Australian study linking their use to cataracts analysed data from nearly 2,500 residents in the Blue Mountains, NSW, and was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
What to do if you have high blood pressure
Leaving elevated blood pressure untreated is dangerous because it causes damage to the organs and tissues of the body; particularly the arteries, kidneys, eyes, brain, and the heart. Heart attacks and strokes are more likely to occur in people with high blood pressure. Ideal blood pressure is 120 over 80 millimetres of mercury (mmHg). It is important to seek treatment if your blood pressure is equal to or greater than 140 over 90 mmHg.
How to lower blood pressure
Here are some natural and effective remedies to lower blood pressure:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Weight loss is a very effective remedy for lowering blood pressure. Weight around the torso is most dangerous.
- Don’t eat too much sugar or high carbohydrate foods like bread, pasta, and foods made of flour. A high carbohydrate diet promotes high blood insulin levels and insulin constricts blood vessels and promotes fluid retention. People worry about salt causing high blood pressure, but sugar is just as likely to cause a problem. It’s interesting to note that people with insulin resistance are more likely to develop cataracts whether they are on blood pressure drugs or not. Blood sugar that is higher than ideal can cause oxidative damage to the lens of the eye, raising the risk of cataracts. Berberine is an excellent herbal remedy that naturally helps to normalize blood sugar.
- Take a magnesium supplement. Magnesium relaxes the nerves and muscles of the body. It relaxes and dilates blood vessels, and also helps to reduce stress and nervous tension.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise that makes you huff and puff and sweat is best for lowering blood pressure. Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program if you have been inactive for some time.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol. A heavy alcohol intake raises blood pressure. Men should consume no more than two standard drinks per day and women no more than one, with at least two alcohol free days per week. Find healthier ways to unwind.
- Eye Formula tablets contain nutrients that specifically protect the eyes from inflammatory and oxidative damage; these nutrients include lutein, zeaxanthin, and bilberry.
Avoid excess salt in your diet and avoid cigarettes completely.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.