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Antibiotics and Eye Damage

A class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones has just been linked to a risk of retinal detachment. These medications have long been a mainstay for treating a wide variety of infections including sinus infections and urinary tract infections. They include drugs such as Cipro, Levaquin and Noroxin.

A new study from Canada suggests that people diagnosed with retinal detachment were more likely to have been exposed to fluoroquinolones. The investigators carried out the study because such antibiotics have been linked to tendinitis and tendon rupture. They speculated that such connective tissue damage might occur in the eye as well as in shoulders or heels. When the retina detaches from the vitreous gel inside the eye, people may see sparks of light and floaters. If untreated, retinal detachment can lead to serious vision impairment or even blindness.

[Journal of the American Medical Association, April 4, 2012]

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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