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Could Taking Aspirin Lead To Vision Problems Later In Life?

January 24, 2013

New study suggests that aspirin use may be the cause of senior vision problems.

When it comes to our health, everyone has their own beliefs that they follow in order to help themselves get better when they are feeling ill. For instance, many people believe that tea with lemon is all it takes to improve the common cold. Or for people who suffer from headaches, a dark room and a warm towel may be the key to making the pain go away.

However, for many people who suffer from minor aches, pains and injuries, their key to feeling better often rests in the hands of one small, little pill promising quick results and minimal pain―aspirin.

This popular pill, also known as acetylsalicylic acid, has been used for many, many years as a helpful way to treat everything from a fever, small aches and pains, and even as an anti-inflammatory medication. It is available nearly everywhere to help the average person rid away these minor instances that may be causing them discomfort.

Recently though, this pill that has always been thought to relive pain and help us in times of need, may be actually causing more harm than good. A new University of Wisconsin study suggests that regular aspirin use can lead to certain form of eye problems later in life, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

AMD is one of the leading causes of vision loss in Americans who are aged 60 and older. It occurs when part of the retina deteriorates, which makes it harder to see images that require sharp central vision, such as reading, driving and recognizing faces.

Barbara E. K. Klein, MD of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, reported to the Huffington Post that her and her colleagues used data from the Beaver Dam Eye Study and found that regular aspirin use for 10 years was associated with a 63% increased risk of late AMD.

In their study, they measured the incidences of different types of AMD among 5,000 different adults between the ages of 43 to 86. Over the course of the study, there were 512 cases of early AMD reported and 117 cases of late AMD. Also reported in their findings, the estimated incidence of late AMD was 1.76% in regular aspirin users compared with 1.03% in non-users.

Because this study is one of the first of its kind, many more studies and tests will still need to be done before there is sufficient evidence that patients should stop taking aspirin for their medications. However, continued research on this topic could unlock some insight into just some of the reasons why age-related macular degeneration is present in some senior adults.

To learn more about age-related macular degeneration and it’s affect on senior vision, or to get tested for AMD today, contact OCLI today at (973)664-7794.


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