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Poppers Linked To Uptick of Sudden Vision Loss

A sharp uptick in diagnoses of sudden maculopathy, a drastic impairment of vision, are being attributed to the use of poppers according to Reuters. While it is unclear how exactly poppers are physiologically causing the damage, cases of rapid vision loss following their use are becoming more and more common.

POPPERS_MEGARUSH3_1338907917Upon examining a man in his early 30s who reported using poppers recreationally Dr. Anna Gruener, an opthamologist at Guy’s and St Mary’s Foundation Trust, observed  uncharacteristic yellow spots on his fovea, a section of the eye for sharp central vision. The man reported significant loss of vision even after ceasing to use poppers for six months.

“Over the past 18 months or so I have come across almost 10 patients with poppers maculopathy, whilst several years ago I had not even heard of the condition, same with a lot of my colleagues,” Dr. Gruener told Reuters Health. “I felt it was important to raise the issue and increase awareness.”

Isobutyl nitrate, the primary nitrate liquid in poppers, was banned by the EU in 2007 amidst concerns about their potential health impacts. Gruener suspects isopropyl nitrate, introduced to replace the old chemical composition may potentially be to blame. Reports of “poppers maculopathy” began to surface in France in 2010 and 2011 before appearing in the U.K. in 2012.

Poppers, most commonly used as a recreational aphrodisiac, have existed in something of legal limbo for many years.

Amyl nitrate, sometimes used to treat angina and cyanide poisoning, was banned from recreational use (as poppers) in 1969 in the U.S. Since then, popper manufacturers have continuously tweaked the specific kind of nitrate compounds in their products as previous combinations are outlawed.

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Comments

  1. I'm sure many gays will see this as a plus. Not only it gives you a head rush, it will also enable sensory deprivation for a more intense experience lol.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 9, 2014 9:20:05 AM


  2. If this were true, wouldn't it have become evident years ago? Poppers have been around a very long time, and have been used by, oh, millions of people. Yet we are just now hearing of this.

    Posted by: Ken | Jul 9, 2014 9:34:44 AM


  3. Ken - agreed, unless of course the companies making them are changing their formula.

    Posted by: Samuel | Jul 9, 2014 9:41:43 AM


  4. Samuel, that appears to be the case per the article. New chemical compound has only been in use since 2007.

    "Isobutyl nitrate, the primary nitrate liquid in poppers, was banned by the EU in 2007 amidst concerns about their potential health impacts. Gruener suspects isopropyl nitrate, introduced to replace the old chemical composition may potentially be to blame. Reports of “poppers maculopathy” began to surface in France in 2010 and 2011 before appearing in the U.K. in 2012"

    Posted by: NwYrkr | Jul 9, 2014 9:49:02 AM


  5. Ken, the doctor suspects it's the NEW variety of poppers that's causing the problem.

    Posted by: BobN | Jul 9, 2014 9:50:23 AM


  6. LOL to sam and ken...how about reading the post through to the end before commenting? My oh my.

    Posted by: ROBB | Jul 9, 2014 10:05:48 AM


  7. I wish somebody could explain what the desirable effect of poppers is. Never did anything for me, at least nothing that I found enjoyable. Some of the comments here reflect the denial of someone who doesn't want to give up something. Sorta like the boy who, when told that masturbation causes blindness, asks; "Can I do it until I need glasses?"

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 9, 2014 10:13:40 AM


  8. Poppers aren't really an aphrodisiac are they? More an enhancement than something that creates desire.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Jul 9, 2014 10:14:00 AM


  9. Poppers destroy massive amounts of brain cells.

    Posted by: Parker | Jul 9, 2014 10:28:29 AM


  10. I thought poppers only existed in the 70s. Ugh who does that sh*t?

    Posted by: Retchard | Jul 9, 2014 10:29:43 AM


  11. The formula has been changed a few times. Our trusted supplier recently told us of a recent change, and my bf bought out his small supply of the old formula (even though we don't use them all that often ... so we've essentially got a lifetime supply of what will be fondly known as the old stuff once everyone goes blind from the new stuff.)

    I'm sure poppers are not for everybody, and for me they're not nearly for every time. But they have both a strong enhancement effect AND a minor aphrodisiac effect, imo. I certainly don't find it credible they destroy brain cells - especially in light of the ASAP Science video posted on this site just a couple of days ago which debunked the myth that alcohol destroys brain cells.

    That said, constant or extended use doesn't seem like a good health idea to me. In my less cautious youth, I think I did overdo them at one point.

    Posted by: Zlick | Jul 9, 2014 10:35:53 AM


  12. "Never did anything for me, at least nothing that I found enjoyable"

    You're either a top, or your boyfriend has a small cock.

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 9, 2014 10:41:10 AM


  13. Only losers huff poppers during sex and do drugs.

    Got that losers?

    Posted by: Retchard | Jul 9, 2014 11:09:22 AM


  14. I gave up poppers years ago, when I started having breathing problems. Be careful guys.

    Posted by: Tom | Jul 9, 2014 11:22:24 AM


  15. lol to Robb, what do you think I was referencing? Geez.

    Posted by: Samuel | Jul 9, 2014 11:23:15 AM


  16. Sounds like Retchard has some big issues with poppers. Funny.
    Fun occasional enhancement to sex. But poppers were better pre-2007.
    Anything in moderation. Live your life, be free.

    Posted by: Tom | Jul 9, 2014 11:43:21 AM


  17. If you read the article from Dr. Gruener published in Lancet, it's really nothing more than a case study. The authors claim "probable" causality, but present no evidence supporting their claims. A quick review of other articles on the subject revealed similar statements of concern, but no discussion of the mechanism by which poppers might cause the suspected injury, let alone a blinded, placebo-controlled trial. So all these claims right now are based on correlation or conjecture. The claims might end up being true, but we can't know that yet based on the evidence that's available. Further, there are other conditions such as photic maculopathy which are better-researched and have identical clinical presentations... and given the environments in which poppers are used, photic maculopathy may be the actual culprit here. Basically, the evidence is simply not strong enough to support the identification of a causal relationship.

    That said, if one wants to discontinue using poppers out of an abundance of caution, that's perfectly fine. But the literature simply doesn't support Dr. Gruener's claims of causality.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jul 9, 2014 11:49:19 AM


  18. Reading the comments, it becomes obvious that at times we can be our worst enemy.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 9, 2014 12:04:08 PM


  19. Thank You Milkman...for the reasoned and logical insight. Otherwise we might have to suffer, yet more, of "Retchard"s hysterical outburst.Some of these bitches appear to have zero life experience,and still find justification for their ignorance and judgmental theories.

    Posted by: boo | Jul 9, 2014 12:54:19 PM


  20. Honestly, I'm biased about poppers considering all it does is give me a headache. So I'm not a huge fan anyways. I'd rather have a bowl of green trees than poppers. So now that we covered the green bud and currently poppers. When are we going to get into Adderall?

    Posted by: MickyFlip | Jul 9, 2014 1:19:54 PM


  21. I've never understood why anyone would want to purposely inhale a chemical into their lungs that doesn't belong there, regardless of the momentary effects.

    Posted by: calpoidog | Jul 9, 2014 1:28:19 PM


  22. macular degeneration has multiple causes.. and not just age related. There may be a correlation, there may not be. Maybe they're going to suntan booths and keeping their eyes open without covers. anything is possible. As for braincells.. what chemical doesn't kill braincells. even pot does that.

    Posted by: northoftheborderguy | Jul 9, 2014 1:34:14 PM


  23. "Maybe they're going to suntan booths and keeping their eyes open without covers."

    Well, yeah, and maybe the poppers make them less bothered by such harmful activities. And if true, it wouldn't be the poppers themselves, but what people allow themselves to do without caution on the poppers, that is the culprit. But it doesn't sound like we know.

    Posted by: Just_a_guy | Jul 9, 2014 1:50:34 PM


  24. Maybe Big Pharma has an inconsequential tweak of the isobutyl nitrate molecule (to skirt the law while making it patentable) ready to roll and they're expanding their future market by creating a fictitious problem to solve.

    BTW: "Angina" seems like the perfect drag name.

    Posted by: Hansel Currywurst | Jul 9, 2014 3:30:49 PM


  25. So you're saying drug bans harm people?

    How utterly, utterly shocking.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 9, 2014 5:39:15 PM


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