Vision Loss and Mental Health: The Hidden Connection

According to a medical report at the University of Pennsylvania, blindness or vision loss can be a primary or secondary side effect of psychiatric treatment.

Typical antipsychotics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) prescribed for patients with depression or anxiety disorders can lead to mydriasis, a dilation of the pupil, which causes the vision to become impaired; tricyclic antidepressants can cause blurred vision; some seizure drugs have been linked to near-sightedness and glaucoma.

In addition, certain anti-psychotic medications can increase a patient’s risk for diabetes, which, if not controlled can result in vision loss or blindness. Impairment in colour perception can also be affected by anti-psychotic medications.

Doctors from the Pretoria Eye Institute advises young patients who are administrated mental health medication to be closely monitored and brought for regular check-ups with an ophthalmologist to prevent long term eye damage.