(TELEGRAPH) — Women who take the contraceptive pill for more than three years are twice as likely to suffer from glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness, a study has found.

The hormone oestrogen, a crucial component of oral contraceptives, could play a role in the development of the condition which causes irreversible damage to the optic nerve, scientists said.

Long-term users of the Pill should be routinely screened for glaucoma and monitored regularly by eye doctors for any changes in their condition, they claimed.

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