5 Oct 2008

Medical experts say depression linked to eye drops

4:37 pm on 5 October 2008

Eye drops taken for the blinding eye disease, glaucoma, can cause depression in some people, according to Australian medical specialists who warn of serious side effects in eye drugs.

A 70-year-old Melbourne man told doctors he felt "a black cloud descending over him" just two days after starting a course of commonly used drops containing a class of drugs, called beta blockers.

They are designed to reduce eye pressure and slow damage of the optic nerve.

His doctors have issued a warning in the latest Medical Journal of Australia that depression appears to be a rare but real side-effect of beta blockers.

Tanning dangers

Tanning beds kill 43 Australians a year through melanoma alone and are responsible for another 2,600 annual skin cancer diagnoses, according to a new report calling for the demise of solaria.

Researchers in Brisbane and Sydney have made a case for tough federal government regulations that either ban or sharply limit access to tanning solaria.

Both schemes go further than regulations currently being unveiled state by state in the wake of the well-publicised plight of Melbourne woman Claire Oliver, who died of melanoma in September 2007.

A team at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research have used a British mathematical model and estimate that sun beds are responsible for 281 cases of melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer, each year.