Drug use, especially cocaine, can be hard on the brain and body. Over time, things start to break down with consistent use. People who use cocaine may have an increased risk of glaucoma of around 45%, compared to those who don’t use cocaine. Men are also more susceptible to having glaucoma later in life who used cocaine in their earlier years due to the changes it causes in the eyes. Learn more about the use of cocaine over time and how it impacts eye health.
Addiction and Eye Health
Eyesight may be something people take for granted if they never have to think about it. The minute a person struggles to see, has trouble with their vision, or is not able to see as well as they used to, it becomes a very big challenge. Eyes are one of the more sensitive parts of the body and often are the first parts to demonstrate overall health of a person. Different drugs have an impact on eye health, both short and long term. This includes:
- Amphetamines: dilation, redness, and increased risk of glaucoma may occur over time
- Heroin: pupils will not respond to low light, which impedes vision. A person may temporarily or permanently experience loss of or blurred vision
- Cocaine: when taking the drug you may not feel the effect it has on the eyes, including if it is bumped or hit, which may cause pain, blurred vision or scarring that results in permanent vision loss
Drug Use with IV
Intravenous drug use can have a long-lasting impact on the body and eye health, as well. Talc or chalk can be used as cutting agents that get deposited in the body. The eyes are often the first to feel the effects. Since it does not dissolve in the body, deposits may form in the retina, which reacts like a ‘film’ on the eye. When large particles or deposits are made on the retina over time, this can block circulation, which causes blurred vision or damage to the eye over time. Although people can seek treatment for their cocaine or drug use, they may not be able to experience healing for the eyes until it is too late to totally reverse the damage caused.
One of the best ways to prevent damage to the eyes and protect it from irreversible issues is to seek help immediately for addiction to cocaine or other drugs. There is help available for addiction and hope for recovery. Eye health can be corrected in many cases with the right support, but it may take time and persistence. It is worth seeking out treatment for the addiction and underlying issues first, then working to resolve the other health issues as you go through rehab and recovery.
It is hard to know where to start when you feel at the end of your rope. The biggest challenge is to begin somewhere. If you don’t start somewhere, you’ll never get where you’re going. Recovery takes admitting a problem exists. If you are ready to start there, we can help with the rest of the journey. Our recovery program is staffed by people who understand the power of addiction. For more information sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702.