Painkillers: Paracetamol ‘should be used with care’ as it can cause eye pain

Fitness & Health:

Painkillers are a common accoutrement of the modern medicine drawer or cabinet. They can be deployed in a number of circumstances to help alleviate symptoms of minor medicinal needs. In common with all other medications, if they are taken in too high a quantity a person may experience adverse side effects. This includes symptoms affecting the eyes and the stomach.

One consequence of too much paracetamol is a condition known as dry eye.

This affects the functioning of the tear film near the corneas.

As a result, someone suffering with dry eye can experience a dry or burning sensation in the eyes.


Several medications can cause dry eyes such as antihistamines, antidepressants, and painkillers.

A person may have dry eyes if their eyes are:

  • Itchy
  • Sore
  • Gritty
  • Red
  • Blurry
  • Sensitive to light
  • More watery than normal.

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The link between painkillers and dry eye was discovered when researchers tested to find out what impact painkillers had on tear production.

It was found: “Paracetamol has an inhibitory effect on tear production of healthy individuals and it is suggested it should be used with care in patients that have dry eye syndrome or are predisposed to it.”

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There are a number of ways to improve dry eyes including:
• Changing your environment
• Eating more fatty fish
• Using a warm compress before washing the eyelids
• Staying away from cigarette smoke
• Taking regular breaks if straining eyes for long periods of time.


As well as dry eye, paracetamol has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure.

High blood pressure, also know as hypertension, occurs when the pressure inside the blood vessels and arteries is too high.

If an individual experiences high blood pressure over an extended period of time, this will increase their risk of experiencing a heart attack.

With regard to heart attacks, new research has suggested pre-diabetic young adults have a higher risk of the cardiovascular event.

Akhil added: “With heart attacks happening increasingly in young adults, our study was focussed on defining the risk factors pertinent to this young population, so that future scientific guidelines and health policies may be better able to address cardiovascular disease risks in relation to pre-diabetes.”

Overall, the study found “young adults with pre-diabetes had a 1.7 times higher changes of being hospitalised for a heart attack compared to their peers without pre-diabetes”.

As a result, subsequent research is required in order to unearth more information about risk for young people and their heart attack risk.

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On average, someone dies from heart and cardiovascular disease every three minutes in the UK.

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