I saw this article from NPR, Using Birth Control Pills May Increase Women’s Risk of Glaucoma, go across my Facebook news feed the other day. I was curious, so I clicked on it. The article suggests that it MAY be due to the fact that birth control pills suppress the peak of a woman’s monthly estrogen cycle. There are estrogen receptors in the eye, so they believe that estrogen contributes to eye health. However, the risk is very small, going from 1.86% to just under 4%.
It got me thinking about those of us who take testosterone which essentially has the same effect as birth control pills, in that regard. Our total estrogen level exposure is less as well. The article admits that more work needs to be done. Don’t throw out your birth control pills (or testosterone) just yet.
Another thing I’m curious about: Since men have a lot lower estrogen exposure than women, in general, does that mean their risk of glaucoma is much higher? But a quick Google search led me to a paper on PubMed that suggests that women outnumber men in cases of glaucoma worldwide.
If I had more time, I’d do a more comprehensive literature review. But at this moment, I’m supposed to be studying for an exam tomorrow. Not to mention, I’m supposed to be doing a whole different literature review for my research and a term paper coming up in a couple of weeks. This may be one to pass on to Transgender Science.