Many studies have found that regular aspirin usage over extended periods of time can significantly increase your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration or AMD. In fact, it has been shown that adults that use aspirin regularly over a ten-year period are 63% more likely to develop AMD. And because 20% of adults take aspirin regularly this increased risk affects a large amount of the population. Here’s what we know about aspirin, AMD and what you can do to lessen your risk.
What is AMD?
Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is a degenerative disorder that affects the central part of the retina, which is a light sensitive group of cells at the back of the eye. The main part of the eye that is effective is called the macula and the damage caused to this section of the eye results in the progressive loss of central vision however in most cases peripheral vision was not affected. There are two types of AMD, dry and wet, and it is important to understand the differences in order to treat them properly. The dry type of disorder accounts for nine out of ten cases that are diagnosed and progresses slowly over a number of years. Dry type AMD is less serious than the wet type of this disorder. Between 10% and 15% of people diagnosed with AMD have the wet type of this disorder. Wet type progresses rapidly and can cause bleeding under the macula. Wet type is severe and needs to be treated immediately in order to minimize vision loss. Aspirin usage increases the risk for both dry and wet type AMD.
Are there treatments?
Visudyne Photodynamic therapy, as well as laser surgery, has proven to be effective ways to treat wet AMD. While dry AMD can be successfully treated with dietary and vitamin supplements. Primarily dry AMD can be treated with zinc, beta carotene, lutein, copper, vitamin C and E. In addition, studies have found that eating a diet high in antioxidants (particularly those found in green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach) can greatly slow down and lessen the effects of AMD. You should also incorporate a serving of fatty fish into your diet at least once a week or take fish oil supplements as that a diet rich Omega-3s also slows the onset of AMD.
Just because regular aspirin usage can increase your risk for both dry and wet AMD that does not mean you should discontinue your aspirin regimen, particularly if you are on one because of your increased risk of stroke or heart attack. It’s important to speak to both your health and eye care professionals before making any changes to your aspirin regimen.
Now that you know more information about how daily aspirin usage may harm the eyes of seniors be sure to discuss your aspirin usage with an eye care professional. And if you have any further concerns about aspirin and AMD contact us today. And to set up an appointment for you or any of your loved ones visit laserforeyes.com.