This week, a study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, explored the connection between regular aspirin use and the potential risks for developing the blinding eye disease, macular degeneration. As a result, there is increased confusion and anxiety in the general public about whether aspirin can harm your vision and what to do if you need the heart-protective therapy.
Wills Eye physicians advise you to speak with your primary care doctor or cardiologist before stopping or reducing any aspirin therapy or changing any medications. Wills Eye physicians were not part of the research study or published paper but are fielding many questions from patients.
"There's no need for patients to experience undue worry. The overall risk for developing serious eye disease on aspirin in the study was low: 3.7% after 15 years. We successfully manage many patients who have macular degeneration while at the same time taking a daily aspirin. It is very important to discuss your risk factors before stopping or reducing any aspirin therapy since aspirin can often stave off life threatening heart attacks and strokes. Today, ophthalmologists have a host of new and effective therapies for managing many eye conditions while factoring in cardiovascular risk," says Dr. Julia A. Haller , Wills Eye Institute ophthalmologist-in-chief.