While COPD mainly affects the lungs, it can also cause issues with the heart and kidneys, among other parts of the body. Additionally, it might make vision issues occur more frequently. Although Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is not popularly discussed, it is the third leading cause of death globally as reported by the World Health Organization. Increasing awareness of this chronic lung disease can lead to a better understanding of complications that may lead to eye problems. 

Symptoms of COPD 

COPD involves long-term or chronic lung disease that causes damage to the air sacs in the lungs. This damage interferes with the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body. People with COPD may also produce increased mucus resulting in the narrowing of the airways. Symptoms of COPD include: 

  • Wheezing 
  • Chest tightness
  • Increased coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue

Causes of COPD in Vision Issues

  • Medications: Some medications used to treat COPD symptoms, such as corticosteroids or bronchodilators, can cause cataracts or glaucoma.
  • Oxygen Therapy: Individuals with severe COPD may require supplemental oxygen therapy. The oxygen delivered through the nasal prongs can cause eye dryness and irritation.
  • Tobacco use: Tobacco use is a primary cause of COPD and a significant risk factor for several eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
  • Reduced Physical Activity: Due to breathing difficulties, people with COPD may engage in less physical activity. Reduced activity can contribute to overall health problems, including eye problems.
  • COPD is associated with chronic inflammation, which can have systemic effects on various organs, potentially affecting the eyes.

Potential Vision Issues

COPD, as well as some types of treatment, may have negative effects on the eyes. The following are some of the possible vision and eye problems associated with COPD. 

According to a small study published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, people with COPD are more likely to have corneal cell damage during cataract surgery. More research is needed to determine whether COPD is a risk factor for complications after eye surgery, but it emphasises the importance of disclosing any medical problems to your eye doctor.

Steroids may be prescribed by doctors to treat COPD symptoms. Steroids may increase the likelihood of cataract formation. The type of steroid used and the duration of use influence the risk of developing cataracts. In many cases, patients take steroids via inhaler, which delivers medication directly to the lungs. When compared to oral steroids, this route may reduce the risk of systemic side effects. 

Risk of retinal diseases increase 

COPD patients may have low blood oxygen levels. If oxygen levels drop throughout the body, sufficient oxygen may not reach the retina. Low oxygen levels in the retinal tissue may increase the risk of glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. 

If you or a loved one has COPD, it is critical to take the following steps to reduce vision complications: 

Stick to your COPD treatment plan: COPD management may slow the progression of the disease and lower the risk of complications.

Use supplemental oxygen as directed: Maintaining adequate oxygen levels in the blood also aids in the delivery of oxygen to the retina. 

Quit smoking: Smoking can aggravate COPD symptoms. It can also increase the likelihood of eye blood vessel damage. Consult your doctor about safe ways to quit smoking.

Sanjeevan for Perfect EyeSight: Sanjeevan has the most effective non-surgical approach for vision issues and consulting. The treatment followed consists of integrated methods that can be beneficial for many individuals who are suffering from retinal eye problems: 

  1. Vision Therapy: This treatment involves a series of interactive eye activities designed to improve various visual skills. It’s often used to address issues like eye movement control, the ability to focus, and coordination between the eyes.
  2. Acupuncture: It’s a traditional Chinese medicine technique involving the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. In the context of eye health, acupuncture helps alleviate certain eye conditions and improve overall visual health.
  3. Micro-current Stimulation: This therapy employs low-level electrical currents to stimulate tissues. It enhances cellular function and promotes healing. In eye care, it is used to support retinal health and address specific eye conditions.
  4. Hydrogen Therapy: This therapy involves the use of Ionic hydrogen gas to combat oxidative stress and inflammation. This therapy is beneficial because of Hydrogen’s antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, which aid in eye health by reducing oxidative damage.

These approaches are part of holistic treatments, aiming to improve eye health through natural and alternative methods.