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Anti-depressant use increases risk of cataracts

Researchers have found a relationship between anti-depressant use and an increased risk of developing cataracts. A recent study found a statistical relationship between a diagnosis of cataracts? or cataract surgery and the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Patients taking SSRIs were 15 percent more likely to be diagnosed with cataracts or have cataract surgery. The study does not prove a cause and effect relationship but instead reveals a link between the use of SSRIs and the development of cataracts. The study did not take into consideration additional risk factors such as smoking. Researchers did emphasize that additional population-based studies are needed to corroborate the findings. Cataracts are treatable with surgery. The benefits of treating depression, which can be life-threatening, justify their use, even with the increased risk of developing cataracts when taking the SSRIs. If you are currently taking SSRIs, you should discuss any concerns you have regarding your medication with your healthcare professional. Elise Ervin Staff Writer

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