Study suggests cholesterol-lowering drugs may decrease glaucoma risk

statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce glaucoma riskA new study suggests that cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may lower a person’s risk for glaucoma by as much as 8 percent.

People over the age of 60 who had taken statins for two years had a reduced risk of developing open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease.

Glaucoma is a condition in which elevated pressure inside the eye causes damage to the optic nerve. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Roughly three million Americans suffer from it, but only half know they have it.

Researchers say statins may improve blood flow to eye tissue and the optic nerve, which can lead to a reduction of pressure in the eye.

Researchers caution that the association was only seen in patients with high cholesterol.  Research must be done to find out if statins have any effect on reducing glaucoma risk in people with normal cholesterol levels.

If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from glaucoma, make an appointment with a physician. Early diagnosis is the best way to prevent vision loss.