This Common Med Linked to Eye Troubles

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A lot of people take aspirin — especially seniors. This over-the-counter-medication is used to relieve pain associated with inflammation. Some even take aspirin to balance their blood pressure. But now, in the latest health news, researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience say that seniors who take aspirin daily may suffer from an unusual prescription side effect — a higher risk for macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration (MD) can be a serious condition that can lead to age-related loss of vision. Basically, there are two types of the eye disease: wet and dry. The wet form is caused by leaking blood vessels in the eye and can affect the vision in the center of your eye’s field of vision. The dry form of MD is far more common and can also lead to vision loss, though not as dramatically.

For the study, the European research team collected health and lifestyle information from nearly 4,700 people over age 65. The researchers found that 839 people took aspirin each day. Thirty-six participants in this group had the more serious condition of wet MD. Statistically, this means that, for every 100 daily aspirin users, four will get wet MD. In comparison, for every 100 people who took aspirin less frequently, only two will get MD.

The researchers caution that the study doesn’t show that aspirin causes vision loss, but it does seem suggest that daily aspirin use may not be a good idea for people who already have MD or who are prone to it. They have this health advice: if you have age-related MD, it is not recommended that you take aspirin.

Of course, it’s best to consult your doctor for the final word on the matter.

In the meantime, here are five foods known for protecting and boosting the health of your eyes. Incorporate them into your weekly diet:

–Berries — especially blueberries
–Yellow veggies, such as squash and pumpkin