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Viagra and Vision Loss

Viagra Use Linked to Eye Strokes

 

 

Viagra (sildenafil citrate) has been linked to serious injury including the deadly skin cancer, melanoma. Now another potentially blinding side effect has been reported in studies of erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs and nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION).

What Is NAION?

According to the National Institutes of Health, NAION which is sometimes referred to as an eye stroke or stroke of the optic nerve, is an acute optic neuropathy usually occurring in people aged 50+ and is a rare event with only 1500 – 6000 cases reported yearly.

Patients diagnosed with NAION suffer a sudden partial loss of vision in 1 eye normally with a shadow or haze obscuring their field of vision.
Their sight may improve over months but often results are permanent. While it will seldom reoccur in the same eye, there is a 30% chance of developing NAION in the other eye.

What Causes NAION?

While it is not known actually what can bring on an eye stroke, experts believe that there are two main risk factors. One is the shape of the optic nerve. If the nerve is nearly as large as the opening in the back of the eye, it may be crowding the 1.2M nerve fibers that carry the signals from the eye to the brain. 

The other risk factor is a drop of blood pressure during sleep – nocturnal arterial hypertension. Because of this, most patients report experiencing symptoms of vision loss upon awakening.

While there is no definite treatment, it is thought that large doses of corticosteroids given immediately may reverse some of the damage.


Viagra Link to NAION

Many studies have recently been done in Europe and the US linking the use of ED drugs to NAION. For example, in 2005 the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology published a report in which 7 men experienced this form of vision loss within 36 hours of taking Viagra. In one individual, both eyes were affected. 

The studies appear to indicate that patients taking Viagra with certain pre-existing conditions may have an increased risk of NAION. These conditions include:

  • diabetes
  • hypertension
  • high cholesterol

As Viagra is heavily marketed to middle-aged or elderly men, they are most likely to already have the risk factors for NAION. They may be using the drugs to treat their ED in the evening which in turn will result in a marked fall in their blood pressure while sleeping. This drop can be particularly severe if they are also taking high blood pressure medications.

Viagra Lawsuits

We are currently accepting Viagra cases throughout the US for melanoma skin cancer and NAION.
These drugs are aggressively marketed to the most vulnerable population in many cases, without the information you need to make the best decision for your situation. If you feel you have been injured by Viagra, or any other drug, you may have a valid claim against the manufacturer. 

We offer free confidential consultations to anyone that feels they have been unjustly harmed. Please call or fill out the form on this page for information on how to begin your no risk claim.

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