Beware: Over the Counter Cold Medicine Can Cause Glaucoma and Sudden Blindness

Imagine going to bed at night after taking some over-the-counter cold medicine to help you sleep, only to awaken with excruciating eye pain, followed by blindness!  Although this may be the farthest thing from your mind when you take medicine to reduce your cough and sniffles and help you sleep, it is a reality that is more common than you might think and consumers need to be made aware!

Dr. Les Siegal is with the Glaucoma Centers of Michigan, and he says that he has had patients lying on the floor in pain with a condition known as Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma. This dangerous condition is triggered by a type of ingredient found in most common over-the-counter cold and allergy medications. It is also found in antibiotics and even anti-depressants.

Known as anticholinergic, there are a group of active ingredients that fall into this category which cause fluid to be trapped between the iris and cornea creating pressure and pain. Dr. Siegal notes that if the condition is not treated immediately, it can lead to sudden and permanent blindness.

Who is at risk?

Although the condition can happen to anyone, it is most common in people who are 50 years or older and who have a small area between the iris and cornea. One of the biggest issues with the condition is that a lot of people mistake the pressure and pain as something else like a sinus headache or infection. If they delay treatment, the results can be devastating.

What can be done?

Only an eye professional can accurately diagnose and treat Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma. To remedy the pressure and pain, a small needle is inserted into the eye to break the tension.

Avoid the risk and use natural methods to relieve cold and flu symptoms

Although you may not be in the high-risk group for Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma, why take a chance? Here are some of the best ways to beat cold and flu symptoms without risking your eyes.

Homemade cough syrup

Store-bought cough syrups can contain unhealthy ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup, codeine, and more. Furthermore, it has been found that very few, if any, cough syrups are actually effective. Here is a recipe for an alternative, so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.


  • ¼ cup raw organic honey
  • ¼ cup organic, extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons organic cinnamon


  1. Melt the coconut oil on the stove or in the microwave – warm until just melted.
  2. Stir in honey and cinnamon and mix until a paste forms.
  3. Eat the syrup one teaspoon at a time as needed throughout the day.

Easy Fever Fighter

Fight your fever with this easy home remedy that’s been used for decades!


  • ½ onion (yep, that’s all!)


  1. Slice the onion about ¼ inch thick.
  2. Wrap the onion slices onto the bottoms of your feet with a bandage or tape.
  3. Put on a pair of socks. The onions will help draw out a fever.

DIY Chest Rub

Store-bought chest rub is laden with harmful chemicals, including turpentine and formaldehyde. Make your own for a safer, healthier option.


  • 4 teaspoons grated beeswax
  • 4 tablespoons shea butter
  • 6 tablespoons organic, extra virgin coconut oil
  • 20 drops each of mint, tea tree, and eucalyptus essential oils


  1. Melt the beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil in a pot on the stove until just melted.
  2. Mix until well combined.
  3. Mix in essential oils. Allow the blend to cool.
  4. Pour mixture into a sealable container. Apply as needed to your chest to relieve congestion.

Aromatherapy Headache Relief

The sweet smell of rosemary and mint are great for easing a headache, and will keep you from popping ibuprofen, which can be very hard on your digestive tract.


  • 1 gallon of water
  • ¼ cup dried rosemary
  • ¼ cup dried mint


  1. Boil the water in a pot on the stove.
  2. Pour into a bowl and stir in herbs.
  3. Lean your head over the bowl (not too close!) and cover your head with a towel.
  4. Inhale the steam from the bowl as long as you possibly can. Not only will this therapy clear congestion, it will also help relieve your headache.

Thyme to Fet Rid of Your Cold Tea

Thyme is a hearty, tasty, natural and safe anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant herb, perfect for soothing coughs and colds.


  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey


  1. Boil the water and thyme on the stove.
  2. Strain out the thyme leaves.
  3. Stir in the honey and pour into a mug. Enjoy while warm.

-The Alternative Daily

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