ED pills like Cialis and Viagra are often prescribed to men who have a difficult time getting or maintaining an erection.
While these pills may relieve the symptoms of ED long enough for sexual intercourse, there are repercussions to consider prior to starting medication.
One recent study published in JAMA Ophthalmology has found that men who regularly took phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor pills, or a category of pills that include ED pills, are 85% more likely to develop eye problems.
These eye problems can be so severe as to cause permanent vision loss in affected patients.
So, the bad news is that eye damage is a problem that people who regularly take ED pills should consider. But it’s not the only side effect to worry about.
Let’s look into the science behind why eye damage and blurred vision are more likely if you’re getting treated with ED pills.
ED Pills and Eye Problems: The Worrying Connection
According to the JAMA Ophthalmology study, there are three major eye problems that can occur in men who regularly take ED pills.
- Serous retinal detachment (SRD)
- Retinal vascular occlusion (RVO)
- Ischemic optic neuropathy (ION)
Serous retinal detachment is a condition where the thin tissue layer called the retina loosens at the back of the eye.
Retinal vascular occlusion occurs when a vein is obstructed by a blood clot in the eye. This often happens when the eye’s vein is too narrow. This frequently occurs in men with diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease.
Ischemic optic neuropathy is a medical condition where blood doesn’t properly flow to the eye’s nerve, causing the optic nerve to sustain damage. This nerve sends messages to your brain, and with ION these messages can be cut short and you could lose vision in either of your eyes.
All these medical conditions are serious and can lead to blindness. If you’re concerned with your eye health, it may be best to avoid ED pills as the chances of contracting these conditions are not zero.
However, these conditions are considered to be the worst-case scenarios. Many men who take ED pills don’t always come down with eye vision symptoms, but when they do, a vast majority of them only face temporary vision problems.
Sildenafil and Temporary Eye Problems
One recent study found that most male participants who took Sildenafil had no symptoms following ingestion.
However, 17 men from that study did come down with a few mild vision problems.
Cialis eye damage was persistent and lasted for 1 to 2 days in the patients. The symptoms that these patients faced included:
- Dilated pupils
- Blurred vision
- Red and green light distortion
- Blue-colored vision
These men took 100 mg of Viagra, the highest recommended dose. They also claimed to have taken the pill for the first time.
Fortunately, all symptoms disappeared after 21 days. Regardless, it begs the question: why did this happen in the first place?
How Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Affect Eyesight
Sildenafil, a compound found in Viagra, is used primarily to control blood pressure. Its purpose is to dilate blood vessels in the body, specifically a particular enzyme in the erectile region.
However, there’s a similar enzyme found in our eyes that Sildenafil may wrongfully target as well. This part of the eye is responsible for color, brightness, and shape perception.
To avoid this crossover, it’s recommended that men take a modest trial dose, especially at the start of their prescription. This way, their bodies will have enough time to adjust to the drug and the doctor can find the proper dosage.
Other Side Effects of ED Pills
While sudden vision loss can seem like the most horrible symptom out there, many other side effects of ED pills are gut-wrenching in their own right.
Here are some common side effects of taking sildenafil citrate, as well as their respective rate of prevalence:
- Flushing – 30.8%
- Headache – 25. 4%
- Nasal congestion – 18.7%
- Heartburn – 10.5%
In other cases, diarrhea, rashes, stomach problems, and dizziness may occur.
Fortunately, most of these signs are mild and can go away on their own. If they persist, consult an erectile dysfunction doctor for a proper evaluation. They’ll also provide relevant medical advice if you’re taking other medication on top of treating ED.
How to Prevent Vision Problems Caused By ED Pills?
The first thing you should do when you’re experiencing vision loss problems is to stop taking erectile dysfunction pills immediately. They may be adversely interacting with other drugs you’re taking or your body may be unable to metabolize them properly.
The next step is to contact a doctor for medical assistance. They’ll have the expertise and knowledge to know how to handle your specific situation.
Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction
You don’t have to resign yourself to a life of celibacy if you fear vision loss induced by ED medications. There are safe and effective treatment plans for ED patients that can lead to a satisfying sex life.
Here are some of the top ways to manage ED:
- Acoustic wave therapy: This non-invasive therapy uses sound waves to break plaque and dilate blood vessels in the erectile region.
- Improve lifestyle routine: Eating a better diet, exercising regularly, sleeping at least 7 hours a night, and avoiding vices can help improve blood flow and erectile function.
- ED therapy: A combination of gels, topical creams, or injections that serve to improve the symptoms and causes of ED.
Consult a doctor if you believe that your ED is severely impairing your life.
Contact Tampa’s Top Men’s Health Clinic for an ED Consultation
Don’t let the threat of eye vision loss stop you from achieving an active sex life.
While ED pills are one of the most common ED treatments out there, there are a plethora of safer alternative treatment plans you can consider.
The road to sexual wellness starts with a single decision. Don’t let shame or embarrassment prevent you from living the life you and your partner desire.
The medical professionals at Tampa’s Prestige Men’s Medical Center specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill for ED and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as ED, Low Testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.