What are ophthalmologic complications of cocaine toxicity?

Updated: Dec 31, 2020
  • Author: Lynn Barkley Burnett, MD, EdD, JD; Chief Editor: Sage W Wiener, MD  more...
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Hoffman and Reimer list a variety of ophthalmologic complications from cocaine use [38] :

  • Cocaine-associated cerebral vasculitis, which may produce a gradual decrease in visual acuity or acute blindness

  • Blurring of vision

  • Foreign-body granuloma

  • Foreign-body embolization

  • Optic neuropathy, resulting from chronic sinusitis due to intranasal cocaine use and manifesting as decreased visual acuity

  • Corneal ulcerations secondary to direct instillation of cocaine into the conjunctival fornix

  • Vision loss caused by crack-induced corneal ulceration from direct irritation of the smoke, cocaine-induced epithelial disruption, and repeated mechanical disruption from rubbing

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