The Eye Care & Surgery Center cautions people taking aspirin that while widely used, aspirin may increase your risk of macular degeneration (AMD). Aspirin is routinely taken on an “over-the –counter” basis for headaches, body ache, fever and even by patients who are at high risk of heart attack due to atherosclerosis, as aspirin has excellent anticoagulant properties.
The Beaver Dam Eye Study found that regular aspirin use 10 years prior to eye examination was associated with late AMD, with estimated incidence of 1.76 percent, compared to 1.03 percent in non-aspirin users. Although these associations appear small they are in fact statistically significant as regular aspirin use 10 years prior to eye examination was significantly associated with the “wet” form of AMD, which accounts for 10 percent of all AMD cases, but is responsible for the majority of functional blindness attributed to the disease. Another Australian study found that regular aspirin users developed wet AMD an astounding 24.5 percent of the time. Even after adjusting for other risk factors like age, sex, smoking, history of heart disease and body mass index, regular aspirin users still had a higher risk of developing wet AMD. These researchers concluded, “Regular aspirin use is associated with increased risk of incident neovascular [Wet] AMD, independent of history of cardiovascular disease and smoking.”
Alternatives to Aspirin
If you’re a regular aspirin user, you should get a thorough eye exam as soon as possible to determine your AMD status as AMD often doesn’t show any symptoms until well after the problem has advanced. Please call The Eye Care & Surgery Center at 908-789-8999, visit The Eye Care & Surgery Center or facebook.com/eyecareandsurgerycenter to schedule an appointment.
With locations at 592 Springfield Avenue, Westfield, New Jersey 07090, 10 Mountain Boulevard, Warren, New Jersey 07059 and 517 Route One South, Suite 1100, Iselin, New Jersey 08830, The Eye Care & Surgery Center is a leading NJ eye care practice conveniently located for patients from throughout central and northern New Jersey.