Since so many people take statins to lower their risk for cardiovascular disease, much research has been done recently to determine their effect on the body overall, including the eyes.
Now a study of more than 300,000 people aged 60 and older concludes that those with high blood levels of unhealthy fats who took statins continuously for two years saw their risk for open-angle glaucoma reduced by 8 percent, compared with those who did not take statins.
Statin use may protect the optic nerve and retinal nerve fibers, which are harmed by glaucoma. Since the statins seem to reduce glaucoma risk most before it is diagnosed or in the early stages of the disease, the research may lead to new preventive treatment.
Statins’ apparent ability to reduce glaucoma risk may be due to several factors, including improved blood flow to the optic nerve and retinal nerve cells and enhanced outflow of the aqueous fluid, which may reduce intraocular pressure.