Eye HealthLifestyle Topics
Smoking and AMD
Smoking increases the risk of developing macular degeneration—quit smoking to help keep your eyes healthy.
Wait on Cataract Surgery?
An eyeglass prescription change may be all you need to improve your vision with early-stage cataracts.
Protect your sight every day
Wear a hat and sunglasses year round to prevent UV damage to your eyes.
Cozy Home Causing Dry Eye?
In winter, when indoor heating is in use, a humidifier or a pan of water on the radiator adds moisture to dry air.
Block Eye Allergies
Outside when pollen counts are high? Sunglasses or eyeglasses can help prevent pollen from getting in your eyes.
What Is an Ophthalmologist?
Are You Fit at 40?
A baseline eye exam is recommended at age 40, when the signs of disease and changes in vision may start to occur.
People who take aspirin for health reasons and are also concerned about age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may be worried about news reports on three recent studies. All three found that people who take aspirin regularly may be at higher risk for "wet" AMD, the form of this eye disease that's most often linked with sudden vision loss. The latest study from Australia reported that those who took aspirin at least once a week were twice as likely as nonusers to develop wet AMD within the study's 15 year period. A U.S.-based study reported similar results in December 2012. But these scary-sounding statistics don't tell the whole story.
First, the actual increase in risk is small, up only about one percent for aspirin users compared to nonusers in these studies. Second, all three studies were based on people's self-report of aspirin use; this type of research cannot prove direct cause-and-effect. Third, expert physicians who specialize in AMD say that it's important for people who've been advised by their doctors to take aspirin to keep doing so. The benefits in reducing their risks for heart disease or stroke outweigh their potential risk for AMD. But these experts also say it's best if doctors weigh each patient's risks and benefits individually. If aspirin is used for pain control only, other options can be considered, especially for someone who has a family history of AMD or other risk factors.
A new, US-based national study is underway to help clear up these questions. Stay tuned to EyeSmart News!