Overload

Eye disease treatments

Category: Medicines

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

 

As this is the medicine section, treatments involving eye surgery are excluded from this page, instead it deals with medications that are generally delivered as eye drops.

Eye drops are saline-containing drops that are used to deliver other medications.  On the whole they produce very few hallucinations simply because eye drops have less of a risk of side effects than do oral medicines.  Furthermore, the risk can be minimized by ‘occluding the lacrimal punctum’, which in layman’s terms means you press on the inner corner of the eye for a short while after administering the drops.  In this way the drops stay in the eye.

 

The nasolacrimal duct (sometimes called the tear duct) carries tears from the lacrimal sac into the nasal cavity. Excess tears flow through the nasolacrimal duct into the inferior nasal meatus. In effect, tears go through this duct, down the nose and into the mouth.  This is the reason the nose starts to run when a person is crying, and why one can sometimes taste eye drops. 

This is not good news. 

If the eye drops enter the mouth and we swallow them, we are getting a dose of a medicine that was not intended to be ingested.  Secondly the nose is the one area which is a weak spot when it comes to fluid entering the brain.

The olfactory bulb transmits smell information from the nose to the brain, and is thus necessary for a proper sense of smell.  But it is a very weak spot as it provides access to some key areas of the brain. 

 
 
 

This is why cocaine sniffers sniff cocaine – they dose is immediate and straight to the brain with no involvement of the blood brain barrier.

Thus is we don’t press that tear duct hard to stop the eye drops from entering the nose, and if we should be so unwise as to swallow and sniff instead of blowing out the gunge, we have provided a route for the contents of the eye drops to get into the brain and body.

The advice is thus BLOW IT OUT and SPIT IT OUT, if any should leak into your nose.

Types of drugs

Depending on the condition being treated, eye drops may contain steroids, antihistamines, beta receptor blockers, prostaglandins, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, antifungal, or topical anaesthetics. All these could in the long term do us no good at all if they leak into the brain.

Another group of drugs are associated with the neurotransmitters that affect the nervous system.  When the parasympathetic nervous system is invoked we become relaxed. 

During relaxation, we have no need to strain our eyes and see and the pupil narrows to give our eyes a rest from any light.   This narrowing has therapeutic uses and the drugs are called cholinergics.  But when the sympathetic nervous system is invoked, this is our flight and fight response and the pupil widens enormously so that we are better able to face the perceived threat.  Again this property is exploited in some of the drugs which are called anticholinergics.

 

As there are so many types we have split this section into two.  This section deals with:

  • Drugs to help with eye examinations
  • Drugs to help with surgery
  • Myopia treatments
  • Dry eye treatments
  • Pink eye or conjunctivitis eye drops
  • Steroid eye drops
  • Allergy eye relief and pain relief eye drops

Another page is devoted to

 

We have grouped all the figures by the classes of drug so that it is easier to see the effects.  All the figures for both hallucinations and deaths come from the eHealthme website and are a summary of the Adverse Drug Reports submitted by doctors to the FDA and SEDA.  Thus US figures only and not the rest of the world.  This is why some drugs cannot be included – no figures exist because they are sold outside the USA.

In June 2016, eHealthme ceased to provide the information on which all the data in this section is based.  On querying my friends in the USA, it would seem that many of the sites that provided similar information, have done the same.  The links we provided to eHealthme also no longer work as this data too has been removed. 

As to why all these sites have removed exceptionally important information, my USA helpers said that more and more people are questioning what they are being given – and demanding to know WHY the CAUSE of their illness has not been investigated.  It appears that there has been a very heartening increase in the numbers of people who want to be healed – have the cause tackled and not the symptoms.  And this is ‘not popular’ with the conventional medical community, who cannot make money from well people.

The statistics collected from eHealthme remain valid for the date they were collected.  As such we have left this section as it is – an historical record.  Please read this section therefore only as an historical record of the figures that were applicable on the date specified.

Drugs to help with eye examinations

There are a group of drugs that act just on the eye to widen the pupil so that the eye and the interior of the eye can be better examined, and all these are called anticholinergic agents.  Anticholinergic agents block the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and acetycholine – put crudely - is the neurotransmitter governing relaxation.  Anticholinergics inhibit parasympathetic nerve impulses by selectively blocking the binding of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine to its receptor in nerve cells.

Atropine is possibly the best known anticholinergic, and there are observations we have found that show it has caused hallucinations, but there are other drugs that can be used in the eye in this category.

 

The correct name for these is Mydriatic eye drops, meaning they make the eye's pupil widen to maximum, to let an optician or doctor have the best view inside the eyeball behind the iris. Afterwards in sunny weather they can cause dazzling and photophobia until the effect of the mydriasis has worn off.

Topical atropine is used as a cycloplegic, to temporarily paralyze the accommodation reflex, and as a mydriatic, to dilate the pupils. Atropine degrades slowly, typically wearing off in 7 to 14 days, so it is generally used as a ‘therapeutic mydriatic’, whereas tropicamide (a shorter-acting cholinergic antagonist) or phenylephrine (an α-adrenergic agonist) is preferred as an aid to ophthalmic examination.

Drug

No of hallucinations

Tropicamide

1

Atropine

16 ++

Cyclopentolate / Cyclogyl, Cylate, & Pentolair

5

Phenylephrine

-

 ++ Atropine has multiple uses, not all these hallucinations may be caused by eye drops

Atropine

  • On Aug, 13, 2015: 3,780 people reported to have side effects when taking Atropine. Among them, 142 people (3.76%) have Death
  • On Aug, 28, 2015: 1,438 people reported to have side effects when taking Atropine sulfate. Among them, 22 people (1.53%) have Death

Cyclopentolate

  • On Sep, 1, 2015: 131 people reported to have side effects when taking Cyclopentolate hydrochloride. Among them, 1 people (0.76%) has Death

 

Drugs to help with surgery

In contrast to the anticholinergics there are also drugs that do the opposite called cholinomimetics.  They behave like acetylcholine and are also called cholinergic agonists.

They are used during ophthalmic surgery. In topical ocular and intraocular administration its principal effects are miosis.  Miosis means constriction of the pupil.  The opposite condition, mydriasis, is the dilation of the pupil as we saw above.  Intraocular administration is used to produce miosis after lens implantation during cataract surgery.

Drug

No of hallucinations

Isopto Carpine / Pilocarpine HCl

3

Carbachol (Carbastat, Carboptic, Isopto Carbachol, Miostat)

3

Acetylcholine chloride [Miochol]

0

 

 If we now take an example like Carbachol, the most common side effects by gender according to the eHealthme web site are as follows :

Female

Male

Pyrexia

Blood Pressure Decreased

Pneumonia

Nausea

Hypersensitivity

Heart Rate Decreased

Throat Irritation

Eye Inflammation

Dyspnoea

Hallucination

Skin Odour Abnormal

Hyperhidrosis

Dysphonia

Loss Of Consciousness

Epistaxis

Oedema Peripheral

Nausea

Orthostatic Hypotension

Hair Texture Abnormal

Post Procedural Complication

 Epistaxis means nosebleeds.  Dysphonia is the medical term for disorders of the voice: an impairment in the ability to produce voice sounds using the vocal organs.  Dyspnea means shortness of breath or breathlessness.  Pyrexia is fever.  Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating.

  • Pilocarpine - On Sep, 1, 2015: 350 people reported to have side effects when taking Pilocarpine hydrochloride. Among them, 11 people (3.14%) have Death

All of these symptoms appear to indicate that the eye drops [or injection] have leaked into the system – the lungs, the brain and the blood stream.

Myopia treatments

Myopia is commonly known as near-sightedness or short-sightedness.  If you are myopic the light that comes in does not directly focus on the retina but in front of it, causing the image that one sees when looking at a distant object to be out of focus, but in focus when looking at a close object.

It is often caused by too much close work.  Being in school all day and doing homework, or playing computer games in leisure hours, is all close focus work and it affects the muscles of the eye over time so that they can no longer relax.  The cure is fairly obvious – less close work and more getting out in the fresh air and looking in the far distance.  Giving our eyes a rest.

In more dangerous cases, it may be due to pathogens in the brain causing small undetected tumours that are squashing the eye-ball.  This really needs to be investigated, especially if one eye is worse than the other.

Difficult births can also cause distortion of the eye.  If your ears are at different levels you had  a difficult birth and your eyes may have suffered.

The ‘cure’ is glasses or contact lenses.  I, for example, wear glasses and I am quite happy wearing glasses.  I have had no side effects from wearing glasses and consider them a godsend.  My brother wears contact lenses.  He has had more problems. 

But in the USA, there are researchers who have proposed the use of eye-drops to treat myopia in children and two they have proposed is atropine or pirenzepine.  Both are anticholinergics.  I quote:

 Although none of these modalities are US Food and Drug Administration-approved to slow myopia progression, they have been shown to slow the progression by approximately 50% with few risks. PMID:  26316834

I would have thought death and hallucinations ought to be counted as a risk, but clearly our researchers consider this par for the course [see above for the anticholergens].  We continue:

Topical pharmaceutical agents such as anti-muscarinic eye drops typically lead to light sensitivity and poor near vision. The most effective myopia control is provided by atropine, but is rarely prescribed due to the side effects. Pirenzepine provides myopia control with little light sensitivity and few near-vision problems, but it is not yet commercially available as an eye drop or ointment. Several studies have shown that lower concentrations of atropine slow the progression of myopia control with fewer side effects than 1% atropine. While the progression of myopic refractive error is slowed with lower concentration of atropine, the growth of the eye is not, indicating a potentially reversible form of myopia control that may diminish after discontinuation of the eye drops. PMID:  26316834

We may find we need to add to this section in the future.

 Dry eye treatments

Dry eye treatments are a form of artificial tear eye drops. Artificial tears are lubricant eye drops used to treat the dryness and irritation associated with deficient tear production in keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eyes).  This has a cause and is more often than not a pathogen attacking the tear duct.  It can also be caused by poor surgery where the tear duct is damaged and by problems during the gestation of a baby.  One pal of mine for example became pregnant whilst still on the pill and didn’t stop taking the pill until several months into gestation, when she suddenly realised that all the sickness might have a cause.  Sophie was a perfect baby – apart from the fact she couldn’t cry.

Artificial tears are also used to moisten contact lenses and in eye examinations and are available over-the-counter, simply because they only contain water, salts and polymers.

Tears are quite complex and provide natural pathogen resisting compounds whereas artificial tears do not, thus there is a risk of infection.  This is why contact lens users are told to give their eyes a rest from the lenses on a frequent basis – thus allowing natural tears to get to the eyeball.

Examples of Artificial tear products include Systane Lubricant eye drops, Nature’s tears, Refresh, Thera tears etc etc  They all act differently, but there are no records of hallucinations from these on eHealthme.  There are more examples on forums, for example

Acanthamoeba is uncommonly isolated from contact lens fluid and patients with retinitis ... and in a few cases have resulted in hallucinations. These studies have documented statements...

Thus the link appears to be contact lenses and contact lens fluid.  The fluid gives the person an eye disease and this disease then results in the hallucinations.  Another different example.

Hallucinations and sensitivity to light
Yesterday, after burning some cardboard boxes in a fire pit, my eyes had a difficult time adjusting to daylight. Later on during the day, I was driving and had a 15 second hallucination. The blue part of my eye started filling up with blood. It started as a shadow on the edge and it filled up the bottom right corner of the iris. Just as I was about to remove my eye contact lens, I noticed that what I saw had only been an illusion. It reminded me of my childhood when I thought a garden hose looked like a snake in the grass at first glance. Anyone else experience anything like this? Anyone else feel like their eyes are sensitive to light and play ticks on the mind?

Pink eye or conjunctivitis eye drops

Antibiotic eye drops are prescribed when conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria but not when it is caused by a virus.  Chloramphenicol, for example is still widely used in topical preparations (ointments and eye drops) for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis and if we glance down the most common Chloramphenicol side effects, we can see that in this case the hallucinations are probably caused by the distortion of the eyes rather than the leaking of the antibiotic into the brain or body:

Visual Acuity Reduced (31 reports)
Parophthalmia (26 reports)
Eyes - Bulging (22 reports)
Conjunctival Oedema (21 reports)
Eye Pain (17 reports)
Intraocular Pressure Increased (17 reports)
Erythema Multiforme (13 reports)
Drug Hypersensitivity (13 reports)
Post Procedural Complication (11 reports)
Sepsis (9 reports)

Parophthalmia is inflammation of the connective tissue around the eye.  Erythema multiforme is a skin condition that usually follows an infection or drug exposure.

Drug

No of hallucinations

Chloramphenicol

6

Moxifloxacin - Vigamox, Moxeza

9

Levofloxacin - trade names Levaquin (US), Tavanic (EU)

*

*No specific trade name is used for Levaquin when used as eye drops. 

Moxifloxacin - Vigamox and Moxeza are the names for Moxifloxacin based eye drops

  • On Aug, 7, 2015: 811 people reported to have side effects when taking Vigamox. Among them, 20 people (2.47%) have Death.
  • On Sep, 1, 2015: 525 people reported to have side effects when taking Moxifloxacin hydrochloride. Among them, 12 people (2.29%) have Death

Levofloxacin -  As it is used frequently for other infections and ingested, any figures for hallucinations and deaths are more likely to derive from ingestion.  Nevertheless the figures below do show the risks of ingestion

  • On Aug, 18, 2015: 5,455 people reported to have side effects when taking Levofloxacin. Among them, 63 people (1.15%) have Death
  • On Aug, 8, 2015: 27,865 people reported to have side effects when taking Levaquin. Among them, 719 people (2.58%) have Death

Antibiotic eye drops are also used to prevent infections after eye surgeries, particularly cataract removal.  Steroid eye drops [see below] are used to reduce any inflammation after the cataract has been removed and the new lens fitted.  By reducing redness itching and soreness, it helps prevent damage to the delicate tissue of the eye.  But by suppressing the immune system there is a danger that infection my take hold, thus antibiotic drops are used to counter any risk of infection.  In both cases the amount given is tiny and the risks low as long as you hold that tear duct!

Steroid eye drops

Steroid anti-inflammatory eye drops are used after surgery, for example, after cataract surgery to reduce the pressure on the eye caused by the inflammation often experienced after surgery.  It is a logical consequence of the surgery that the body should inflame the eye to enable the immune system to send protection whilst the eye heals.  But where a cataract has been removed and a new lens put in, this could compromise the effects of the surgery.  Thus immunosuppressants are occasionally used to very temporarily slow down the reaction.

Drug

No of hallucinations

Ciclosporin trade name Restasis

34

Betnesol / Betamethasone sodium phosphate ++

1

Dexamethasone

245

Fluoremethalone +++

-

Prednisolone acetate [minims]

1

Rimexolone and Vexol

1

 ++ The one hallucination may not necessarily have been caused by eye drops, as this product is used for eyes, ears and nose drops

+++ Fluorometholone is a corticosteroid, most often used after laser-based refractive surgery. It is marketed under the brand names FML and Flarex

  • Restasis - On Aug, 5, 2015: 4,356 people reported to have side effects when taking Restasis. Among them, 15 people (0.34%) have Death.
  • Betnesol - On Sep, 1, 2015: 543 people reported to have side effects when taking Betamethasone valerate. Among them, 3 people (0.55%) have Death
  • Dexamethasone  - On Aug, 12, 2015: 53,192 people reported to have side effects when taking Dexamethasone. Among them, 2,458 people (4.62%) have Death.
  • Prednisolone acetate  - On Sep, 1, 2015: 1,360 people reported to have side effects when taking Prednisolone acetate. Among them, 16 people (1.18%) have Death

 

Allergy eye relief and pain relief eye drops

Some eye drops may contain histamine antagonists or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which suppress the optical mast cell responses to allergens including (but not limited to) aerosolized dust particles.

Drug

No of hallucinations

Acular and Ketorolac

21

Bromfenac, Prolensa and Bromday

-

Loteprednol and Lotemax

1

Nepafenac and Nevanac

0

Ocufen

0

 Acular

  • On Aug, 31, 2015: 528 people reported to have side effects when taking Acular. Among them, 9 people (1.70%) have Death.
  • On Aug, 25, 2015: 58 people reported to have side effects when taking Acular ls. Among them, 1 people (1.72%) has Death
  • On Aug, 26, 2015: 1,615 people reported to have side effects when taking Ketorolac tromethamine. Among them, 22 people (1.36%) have Death

Bromfenac - On Aug, 19, 2015: 84 people reported to have side effects when taking Bromfenac sodium. Among them, 2 people (2.38%) have Death

Lotemax - On Sep, 1, 2015: 717 people reported to have side effects when taking Lotemax. Among them, 5 people (0.70%) have Death.

Nevanac - On Sep, 1, 2015: 472 people reported to have side effects when taking Nevanac. Among them, 2 people (0.42%) have Death

Ocufen - On Aug, 15, 2015: 114 people reported to have side effects when taking Ocufen. Among them, 2 people (1.75%) have Death.

 

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