Beta-Blockers and Cataracts

I came across two articles regarding a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology about beta-blockers and cataracts. The study suggests an increased risk of cataract formation with the use of beta-blockers. The first article is from

“Australian researchers are reporting a possible link between widely used beta-blocker drugs and an increased risk of cataracts.”

“A ‘possible’ association between use of a different class of high blood pressure drugs, calcium-channel blockers, and cataract surgery was seen in the study, but no such association was seen for all other drugs for high blood pressure.”

Beta-Blockers Tied to Higher Cataract Risk

The second article comes from Medical News Today:

“A research published ahead of print in the British Journal of Ophthalmology suggests certain types of drugs prescribed to lower blood pressure seem to increase the risk of corrective cataract surgery.”

Higher Risk Of Cataract Surgery With The Use Of Drugs To Reduce Blood Pressure

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Drug-releasing Contact Lenses More Effective than Eyedrops

Newswise reports on an article in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (“A Drug-Eluting Contact Lens”) about a new contact drug-releasing contact lens. While the clinical trial seemed to only be geared towards glaucoma meds, the authors are confident that it will revolutionize the way that eye drugs are administered across the board.

New drug-releasing contact lenses ensure glaucoma patients and others get correct and consistent dosages of medication.

Drug-releasing Contact Lenses Deliver Medication More Effectively than Eyedrops

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Is Seeing Looking?

Medical News Today reports on a new study appearing in the Journal of Vision gives interesting insight on biases spatial judgments based on where a person is already looking.

The authors found that participants clearly preferred to select target positions nearer to where their eyes were looking. This finding held true whether a tone or a flash indicated the moment of interest. The study suggests that when in doubt, people are biased towards believing that they were looking directly at what they have seen.

Seeing May Be Believing But Is It The Same As Looking?
[Medical News Today]

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Glaucoma and Cardiovascular Death in African Americans

An article in Medical News Today reports on a paper, in the March edition of Archives of Ophthalmology, that found:

Patients who are black have an increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases if they have high pressure in the eyes or if they have been diagnosed with and treated for glaucoma, according to a report in the March 2008 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Glaucoma And Cardiovascular Death Linked In Black Patients
[Medical News Today]

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Women and AMD

April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Medical News Today posted a short article with some key recommendations for women regarding AMD.

“Macular degeneration does affect women more often than men, as shown in many of our large studies,” explains Larry Singerman, M.D., of the Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia.

Age is the greatest risk factor for AMD. Because women tend to live longer than men, AMD is more prevalent among women. Aside from age and sex, other risk factors include:

– Smoking
– Obesity
– Family history
– Race

Vision Loss A Key Issue For Aging Women
[Medical News Today]

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Baby Formula Supplements

A recent research study appearing in the Journal of Perinatal Medicine shows that eye and brain development in infants can benefit from omega-3 and omega-6 supplements.

Summary of the recommendations

  • The authors emphasize the importance of a balanced diet for breastfeeding women, including a regular supply of DHA
  • Pregnant women should aim for a DHA intake of at least 200mg a day (equivalent to two portions of oily sea fish per week)
  • If breast milk is not available to the baby, current evidence supports the addition of DHA and AA to infant formula
  • The DHA added should make between 0.2% and 0.5% of fatty acids [noting that 0.2% is the minimum level necessary to see functional developmental benefits
  • Infant formula should be supplemented with AA in amounts at least equal to the amount of DHA
  • EPA, another omega-3 fatty acid, should be less than the amount of DHA
  • Dietary supply of DHA and AA should continue during the second six months of life, but experts do not have enough information to recommend exact amounts

Recommendation By International Experts: Infant Formula Should Contain DHA Omega-3 And AA Omega-6
[Medical News Today]

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