Recent research links the frequent use of aspirin with a greater chance of developing age-related macular degeneration, a condition of sight that is the leading cause of blindness in older adults. Here we tell you more details about this finding.
Many people are advised to take aspirin regularly to maintain heart health. But at the same time that this popular medicine offers those benefits, it may also generate some risks. For example, against sight.
Several previous studies that linked visual health with aspirin consumption had yielded mixed results. Now, new research links it to a greater possibility of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD or DMAE) , one of the main causes of vision loss and blindness in people over 65 years of age.
This is a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association , according to which the risk increased in people who took aspirin regularly (at least twice a week for more than three months), ten years before being diagnosed with said disease.
Specifically, the risk increased for one type of AMD called wet macular degeneration, which is generally more severe than the other type of AMD, known as dry macular degeneration. In any case, the risk is still very low since, in fact, wet macular degeneration is not a frequent condition.
To arrive at these results, researchers from the School of Medicine of the University of Wisconsin, in Madison, in the United States, followed almost 5 thousand men and women over 43 years of age, for 20 years (although not all remained in the study the two decades).
Therefore, while science continues to seek more accurate data on this relationship, it is important that all adults over 60 years of age examine their sight at least once a year, especially those who are more at risk of developing AMD, such as:
- People with a family history of macular degeneration
- People with some cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, or who have had a heart attack or stroke (stroke)
- Smokers and the obese
- Women, who have a greater tendency to develop macular degeneration and can occur at a younger age
Remember that AMD is an eye disease that occurs when the macula degenerates . The macula is a part of the retina that allows us to see details and colors in the central part of our vision, which is what we use for example to read, watch television, recognize faces and drive.
Therefore, the degeneration of the macula causes distortions or a lack of clarity in this central vision but does not affect our peripheral or lateral vision (to the sides).
Detecting the symptoms of AMD as soon as possible is very important to preserve vision. Pay attention and if you notice any of these signs, make an appointment immediately with a doctor specialized in the eyes (ophthalmologist):
- You have trouble reading
- You need more light to see well
- You have trouble seeing at night
- You do not see well when driving
- You are having trouble recognizing faces
- You have a blind spot directly in front of your vision
- You have distortions in your vision. For example, straight lines seem wavy to you.
Remember that there are several treatments – laser or based on injections in the eye – that can help delay the progression of the disease, and the sooner you treat, the better the results. Do not forget, macular degeneration, especially the wet type, if not treated quickly can cause blindness, but both require attention as soon as possible. Take care of your sight