blindness

  1. Daily aspirin triples AMD risk

    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.

  2. Omega-3 fatty acid DHA can protect your vision

    How DHA can save your vision & your wallet

    New glasses... again???

    Seems like you only bought your current lenses last year... yet here you are at the eye doctor again, squinting at yet another big bill for yet another new set of lenses.

    But there may be an easy way to protect your eyes and help ensure that those lenses last a little longer this time, and that's with the same omega-3 fatty acids you should be getting anyway.

    In a new study, researchers found that mice fed the omega-3 fatty acid DHA -- one of the main fats in fish oil -- saw no increase in toxins in the retina, while those that didn't get fish oil saw the normal rise in toxins.

    As a result, the mice that got the fish oil managed to avoid some of the vision loss that usually comes naturally with aging.

    The researchers are now launching a second study, this time on humans, to see if DHA can help limit the damage of age-related macular degeneration. That's the leading cause of blindness in people over 50, and the research so far has been very encouraging.

    A 2010 study, for example, found that omega-3 fatty acids can cut the risk of the "wet" form of AMD by 35 percent, and the dry form by 32 percent.

    Omega-3s might help with other eye diseases as well. A Harvard study earlier this year found that just 200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids can delay blindness in patients with retinitis pigmentosa by up to 18 years.

    There's no drug that can do that -- just fish oil, so make sure you're getting in on this all-natural miracle.

  3. Eye disease linked to brain disorders

    Keep an eye on your eyes -- because your peepers just might be the first part of your body to spy dementia coming.
  4. The everyday pill that'll wreck your vision

    An aspirin a day won't do much for your heart, but it can do plenty for your eyes -- and not in a good way.
  5. The real secret to saving your eyes

    At some point in the next month, the feds are expected to approve a new drug to help treat macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in seniors.

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