To treat high cholesterol, statins are often prescribed along with recommendations of healthy lifestyle habits. Although statins are commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol, they have another benefit, and it involves your eyes.
Statins have been shown to reduce scar tissue inside the eye.
Retinal detachment is when the retina separates from the layer underneath. When this occurs, there are changes to vision.
The study found that for patients taking statins around the time of surgery for retinal detachment, there was a 28 percent reduced risk of renewed surgery.
Lead author of the study Docent Sirpa Loukovaara explained, “It seems that statin treatment is beneficial in the treatment of retinal detachment, the most serious common retinal disorder which may at worst lead to blindness. This means that systemic statin medication may be beneficial not only in the prevention of cardio-vascular diseases but also in terms of eye health.”
The researchers speculate that the benefits to eyes stems from the fact that statins reduce inflammation and prevent the formation of scar tissue. On the other hand, statins were not associated with a reduced risk of renewal surgery for other vitreoretinal disease groups involving retinal surgery.
The study included data for renewed eye surgeries from 5,709 patients. Loukovaara concluded, “[While] at the moment there is no safe drug treatment that could prevent the formation of scar tissue inside the eye … it’s possible that in the future, retinal detachment patients thought to benefit from the treatment would receive statin medication as an implant or as an injection inside the eye.”
Related: Survival rates boosted with high-dose statins