Year: 2015

Another Dangerous Side Effect of Statins: Eye Disorders

If you suffer from high blood pressure, you may have been prescribed a drug called a “statin” to help lower your blood pressure to a healthy level. However, more and more evidence is surfacing regarding the many side effects statins may have on your overall health. Here’s one more: eye disorders. If you are currently taking a statin, keep reading for more information on this potentially dangerous side effect.

What are Statins?
Statin is a collective name for a class of drugs that is used to reduce levels of cholesterol in people who suffer from cardiovascular, or heart-related, diseases. Your body produces a certain enzyme that prevents the absorption of Low Density Lipoproteins (LDLs) from the bloodstream, and this can dramatically raise the risk of cardiovascular complications in a person. Statins work by inhibiting the action of this enzyme, allowing LDL receptors to attract and bind statins and thus removing them from the bloodstream and lowering a person’s risk of developing heart conditions. The overall end result of statin use is a lowering of cholesterol levels in the blood.

While statins are effective at lowering blood cholesterol levels in patients with high risk of developing cardiovascular conditions, it is rarely recommended for treatment unless that person has first tried to lower blood cholesterol levels through diet and lifestyle changes. Some doctors may recommend that a patient first try eliminating foods that are high in fat and cholesterol from their diet, and also to incorporate regular exercise into their lifestyles. As most working adults usually neglect exercise as part of their daily lives, such a measure often works to lower blood cholesterol levels significantly.

However, other doctors may too quickly prescribe the use of statins without suggesting or turning to such lifestyle changes first.

Side Effects
Studies have shown that some patients may suffer from eye disorders related to statin use. Some of the side effects include double vision, drooping of the upper eyelid, and some loss of the full range of motion in the eyes.

Patients who suffered these symptoms, and whose data was included in a recent study were all on dosages of statin that were well within the prescribed dosage levels as recommended by the manufacturer. When use of the drug ceased, the symptoms disappeared. Researchers were unable to give even a rough estimate of the recovery time required after cessation of statin use, however, as the time required varied widely from one patient to the next.

Statins have also been known to cause skeletal muscle disorders in some patients. And, while eye disorders related to statin use are not well documented, skeletal muscle disorders have been the subject of greater study. Most scientists believe that the eye disorders are simply due to the statins having an effect on the extraocular muscles.

More extensive studies into the side effects of statins have been called for, as many doctors are alarmed by the growing incidence of side effects due to statin use. While the current known side effects are considered to be rare, there is no telling what further investigation might reveal about other potential side effects. Also, side effects relating to vision are extremely dangerous, and the last thing that any doctor would want is to have his or her patient lose their eyesight because of a cholesterol medication.

If you’re concerned about the side effects of taking statins, visit with your doctor or other healthcare provider to determine if there are alternative options to lowering your cholesterol.…

What If I Make A Mistake On My Taxes?

When it comes to filling out your tax forms and filing your income tax return, the opportunity to make a mistake is virtually unlimited. With over 72,536 pages in the US Tax Code (source), it’s no wonder people make mistakes. If printed on standard copier paper on both sides, you’d have a book over 12 feet thick! It make me wonder how ANYONE can truly consider themselves a “tax expert” – there’s more information in that book than anyone can fathom, much less memorize.

With so many chances for me to make a mistake, I’m glad I use TurboTax!

How to correct tax mistakes

Should you find a mistake on your already filed tax return, never fear. You can make corrections by simply filing an “amended return.” To file an amended return, you’ll need to use Form 1040X, Amended US Individual Income Tax Return. Regardless of the original tax form you filed (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, or 1040NR-EZ), you’ll need Form 1040X to make any needed corrections.

Why would you need to amend a tax return?

You should file an amended return (Form 1040X) if you incorrectly reported:

  • Your filing status
  • Your number of dependents
  • Your total income
  • Your deductions
  • Your tax credits claimed

When NOT to file Form 1040X

  1. If you discover math errors on an already filed tax return – don’t worry – the IRS will make any corrections for you and either alter your refund or send you a tax bill.
  2. If you forgot to include forms, such as your Form W-2s or schedules – the IRS normally asks for those forms once they realize they’re missing.

What if I discover I’m owed an additional refund?

If you are filing Form 1040X because you realized you were owed an additional refund, wait until you have received your original refund before filing Form 1040X. The IRS advises taxpayers to cash the original refund check while they wait for any additional refund.

What if I discover that I owe additional tax?

If you discover that you should file Form 1040X because you owe additional tax, DO NOT WAIT! File Form 1040X and pay your taxes as soon as possible to limit any interest and/or penalties that may be charged. And remember: interest is charged on any taxes not paid by the due date of the original return, even if an extension was filed and granted.

Other Form 1040X filing tips:

Make certain to enter the year of the return you are correcting (or amending) at the top of Form 1040X. Generally, Form 1040X must be filed within three years from the date you filed your original return or within two years from the date you paid your taxes, whichever is later. If your changes demand additional schedules or tax forms, attach them to the 1040X.

The beauty of using a tax preparation software like TurboTax or H&R Block Online is that so long as the information you enter is accurate, they both guarantee that their calculations are correct and they both explicitly list what forms, information, and schedules you need to file.