Aspirin use linked to vision loss

When you lose your vision, there's a good chance it might never come back -- so it's critical to do everything you can to protect it while you still have it.

And one of the best ways to protect your eyes isn't in something you do -- it's in something you don't do: Don't take daily aspirin if you can avoid it.

Regular aspirin use can nearly triple the risk of a serious, irreversible, and potentially blinding condition called wet age-related macular degeneration, according to an eye-popping new study out of Australia.

Just 1 in 27 people who don't take daily aspirin can expect to battle wet AMD. But among people who take the drug once a week or more, that risk shoots up to nearly 1 in 10, according to the study of 2,400 people who were in their middle ages or older when the study began, and then tracked for up to 15 years.

The risks didn't just pop up over the long run, either.

At the five-year mark, daily aspirin users already had more than double the risk of the condition. And over the course of the study, the patients who took aspirin most frequently had the highest overall risk, according to the study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

If that were the only danger here, I'd say it should be enough to get anyone to reconsider aspirin therapy.

But it's not the only danger here.

Daily aspirin use can also cause serious bleeding problems such as ulcers and brain bleeds.

While some people may need to be on aspirin, many of the people who take this drug each day have other safer options. Fish oil, for example, can thin the blood and help protect the heart -- and unlike aspirin, it can actually help save your vision.

If you already take daily aspirin, don't stop without speaking to a doctor first. Suddenly stopping can actually induce the very heart attack you're hoping to avoid.

Instead, visit a holistic physician who can help determine whether you really need the aspirin in the first place -- and if you don't, a good doctor can help you find a safe way off it.

And if you're in Southern California, I can help you with a comprehensive all-natural approach to heart health. Make an appointment to see me at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.