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Can Aspirin Use Increase The Risk For Aging Macular Degeneration?

January 10, 2012

New studies may have found a link between AMD and frequent aspirin use.

There are many different vitamins and medicines that people will take on a daily basis in order to help fix a health problem or disorder, or even to improve their overall quality of life. For instance, many people will take regular doses of Vitamin A or Vitamin C each and every morning in order to improve their health and ward off any intruding diseases.

There are also several daily medications which people can take in order to help take away the pain and discomfort of the aging process, or any specific type of illnesses that they may have. One of the most popular type of this kind of medication is aspirin.

Whether you are taking aspirin to ward off a simple headache or stomach ache, or you take it for a more serious health condition, this powerful medication can help to put any pain or bad feelings at bay and help you to live a more comfortable daily life. However, while many people have relied on aspirin for years to improve their day-to-day lives, new studies are showing that the results of this popular medication may not always be positive.

According to a study published in the January issue of Ophthalmology, frequent use of aspirin in patients aged 65 years and older is associated with early aging macular degeneration (AMD) and wet late AMD. This common medical condition typically affects older adults above the age of 60 and often results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina.

While macular degeneration by itself will not lead to total blindness, it can cause significant visual impairment in those with AMD, making it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces or writing. The reason for this is because the loss of central vision (the area compromised by AMD)profoundly affects our visual functioning and results in a loss of contrast sensitivity, making contours, shadows and color vision much less vivid.

In the study released in Ophthalmology, doctors and medical experts at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam investigated the correlation between aspirin use and early and late AMD. After researching both aspirin intake and AMD among 4,691 participants, aged 65 years and older, they found that early and late AMD were present in 36.4 and 3.3 percent of those who reported daily aspirin use.

They also found that daily doses of aspirin in elderly adults can double the risk of developing the “wet” version of age-related macular degeneration―the more severe form of the condition. In the wet (exudative) form of AMD, blood vessels can grow up from the choroid behind the retina, and the retina can also become detached.

In order to help prevent macular degeneration, in both adults and seniors, it is important that you schedule regular eye exams with your ophthalmologist and practice necessary preventative steps towards keeping your eyes safe and healthy. To schedule your free vision consultation today and learn more about AMD, contact OCLI.


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