Study: Long-term use of oral contraceptives could increase risk of glaucoma

Posted at: 11/18/2013 11:02 AM

New research suggests long-term use of oral contraceptives could increase a woman's risk of developing serious eye disease.
The study analyzed data from more than 3,000 women over the age of 40. Those who had used any type of oral contraceptives for longer than three years were twice as likely to be diagnosed with glaucoma -- a leading cause of blindness.

Researchers say this doesn't mean the pill causes glaucoma but long-term use could be a risk factor along with African-American ethnicity, a family history and existing visual problems.

Although more studies are needed, experts say women who have taken the pill for a long period of time should be screened for glaucoma, especially if they have other risk factors.

The research was presented at a meeting and has not gone through an extensive peer review process.