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Does Aspirin increase risk of macular degeneration?

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Posted on Wed, 16 Jul 2014
Question: Hi there,

I recently read that aspirin has been linked to an increased risk of macular degeneration.

I don't take aspirin (although my doctor mentioned I could since heart disease runs in my family...but I'm nervous to because of links to serious side effects), but I do take some mild natural herbs to support lower blood pressure (which has helped me a great deal along with healthier diet and exercise), reduce inflammation, and promote bloodflow/cardiovascular health, including garlic (1200mg), fish oil (2g EPA+DHA), grape seed extract, CoQ10, cayenne, apple cider vinegar, celery seed, quercetin, and resveratrol. I'm also considering adding a reishi, shiitake, and maitake mushroom complex to the mix. I realize this may be a tough one to answer, but are any of these likely to increase my risk of macular degeneration the same way aspirin does?

Also, a slightly unrelated question - I'm not outside a whole lot (and mostly work nights), but I am sometimes in the sunshine for short periods (usually a few hours max). Should you always wear sunglasses when it's sunny? What about when driving (behind a windshield)?

Thanks!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dadapeer K (43 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
These foods are protective for maculardegeneration

Detailed Answer:
Hello
Welcome to Health care magic

I am Dr. Dadapeer K, an Ophthalmologist and I answer health problems related to eye.

Aspirin is one of the commonly used used drug and it is used to prevent cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases like ischemic heart disease, stroke....

When used for long term it is known to cause few side effects. Recently a casual association has been noted between the risk of development of age related macular degeneration and use of aspirin. But most of the studies are not conclusive and require further research. Hence as of now depending on the risk and requirement we do continue the use of aspirin to prevent life threatening conditions like stroke....
Hence depending on the requirement of the drug as per advice of your physician you can use the drug.

Coming to the age related macular degeneration, it is bascially seen in people who are aged more than 50-60 years and it is because of age related degeneration of the macula which is exaggerated by oxidative injury to the macula. The major risk factors associated with this other than ageing are smoking, use of ployunsaturated fat rich foods, exposure to uv rays....

The important preventive factors are use of foods rich in antioxidants like vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish oils... avoiding foods rich in fats, avoiding smoking, preventing the exposure to uv rays by use of dark goggles or sun glasses...

Hence you can use foods including garlic , fish oil , grape seed extract, CoQ10, cayenne, apple cider vinegar.... these are infact beneficial in people with age related macular degeneration.

When you go out in XXXXXXX days you can wear sun glasses as an additional preventive and protective mechanism. During driving behind a windshield sun glasses are not required to be used.

Hope the information is helpful to you.

Thank you

With regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Dadapeer K (1 hour later)
Thanks for the excellent and thorough response! A few followups if you don't mind.

Understood re aspirin. At 34 and with no cardiovascular problems at this point (aside from prehypertension that I've successfully brought down), I'm more comfortable with natural supplements for now, but will discuss further with my doctor.

Would mushroom complex (reishi, shiitake, and maitake) also be along the same lines and potentially beneficial (but not likely harmful)?

Also, is moderate drinking (especially things like red wine, but also occasional beer or liquor) potentially beneficial or risky?

Thanks!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dadapeer K (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Mushrooms are beneficial for nutrition.

Detailed Answer:
Hello
Thank you for the follow up question.

Mushroom complex also provides good nutrition and is helpful for maintaining good health.

Drinking alcoholic drinks like wine and red wine which are made from grapes in moderate quantity is beneficial as it provides antioxidant activity and provides protection against cardiac diseases.


Hope the information is helpful to you.

Thank you

With regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Dadapeer K (27 minutes later)
Great! Thanks so much for your help! =)
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dadapeer K (2 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Thank you

Detailed Answer:
Hello
Thank you for writing to health care magic.
Hope it was helpful.
If you have any questions do write to me.

Thank you
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Dadapeer K (11 hours later)
A few followups while this is still open if you don't mind (if you'd rather I close and open a new ticket, please let me know).

1.) I also have dry eye syndrome (for which I take restasis for tear production, patanol for allergies, and then artificial tears throughout the day and sometimes gel at night). Does this put me at any increased risk for macular degeneration later? Or glaucoma?

2.) Are the above supplements I have any risk for glaucoma, or like the macular degeneration question, are these all good things for that also?

3.) I've noticed (for some time now) if I'm in a dark room, sometimes my vision seems a little like a camera picture taken at night without flash... It's hard to explain...sometimes if you take a picture at night, it seems grainy with tiny, tiny green/reddish dots. It's not as pronounced with actual vision, but that's the best way I can describe it. Is this a normal visual phenomenon?

Thanks again for your patience with my questions. =)
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dadapeer K (5 hours later)
Brief Answer:
These drugs does not pose risk of glaucoma.

Detailed Answer:
Hello

No problem you can ask few followups.

The drugs used to treat dry eye like restasis, artificial tears and antiallergic drugs like patanol does not lead to increased risk of macular degeneration or glaucoma.

The above supplements which you are taking are good for glaucoma also as the end mechanism is supposed to be by oxidative injury to the nerve fibres in glaucoma similar to macular degeneration. Hence antioxidants provide protection against glaucoma also.

The problem of seeing difficulties in dark room as mentioned by you is normal and it is because of dark adaptation and no need to worry about it.


Hope I have answered your questions and the information is helpful to you.

Thank you

With regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Dadapeer K (17 minutes later)
Great thanks! Good to know all of the above.

I'm assuming the dry eye itself (aside from the treatment) is not a risk factor for glaucoma or macular degeneration either.

Also, great to know I'm good supplementation wise and that the visuals I mentioned are normal!

You've eased my mind a lot - thanks again!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dadapeer K (7 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Thank you

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for writing to us on Health care magic.

With regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
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Dr. Dadapeer K

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Does Aspirin increase risk of macular degeneration?

Brief Answer: These foods are protective for maculardegeneration Detailed Answer: Hello Welcome to Health care magic I am Dr. Dadapeer K, an Ophthalmologist and I answer health problems related to eye. Aspirin is one of the commonly used used drug and it is used to prevent cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases like ischemic heart disease, stroke.... When used for long term it is known to cause few side effects. Recently a casual association has been noted between the risk of development of age related macular degeneration and use of aspirin. But most of the studies are not conclusive and require further research. Hence as of now depending on the risk and requirement we do continue the use of aspirin to prevent life threatening conditions like stroke.... Hence depending on the requirement of the drug as per advice of your physician you can use the drug. Coming to the age related macular degeneration, it is bascially seen in people who are aged more than 50-60 years and it is because of age related degeneration of the macula which is exaggerated by oxidative injury to the macula. The major risk factors associated with this other than ageing are smoking, use of ployunsaturated fat rich foods, exposure to uv rays.... The important preventive factors are use of foods rich in antioxidants like vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish oils... avoiding foods rich in fats, avoiding smoking, preventing the exposure to uv rays by use of dark goggles or sun glasses... Hence you can use foods including garlic , fish oil , grape seed extract, CoQ10, cayenne, apple cider vinegar.... these are infact beneficial in people with age related macular degeneration. When you go out in XXXXXXX days you can wear sun glasses as an additional preventive and protective mechanism. During driving behind a windshield sun glasses are not required to be used. Hope the information is helpful to you. Thank you With regards