Could Your Daily Aspirin Lead to Vision Trouble?

Aspirin is a common medication that many people take regularly to help with a variety of health issues, from headaches to heart health. But did you know that daily aspirin use may increase your risk of going blind?

Recent research has shown a possible link between aspirin use and neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a leading cause of vision loss in people over 50.

In this article, we’re going to talk about:

  • What is neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?
  • The study linking aspirin use to AMD
  • What this means for you and your health
  • Other side effects of aspirin
  • Conclusion

What is neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?

Neovascular age-related macular degeneration is a type of AMD that affects the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for detailed, central vision. Neovascular means “new blood vessels,” and in this condition, abnormal and fragile blood vessels grow under the macula, leading to the leakage of fluid and blood. This leakage can damage the macula and cause vision loss. AMD is a leading cause of blindness in older adults, and can be worsened by smoking.

The study linking aspirin use to AMD

A study of 5,000 people in Wisconsin recently found a possible connection between daily aspirin use and the development of neovascular AMD. This type of blindness is relatively uncommon, affecting about 1 percent of people middle-aged and older. However, the study showed that those who had used aspirin for more than 10 years had about double the risk of developing the condition.

Researchers noted that aspirin use is widespread in the United States, with 19.3 percent of adults reporting regular consumption, and its use increases with age. This led to the conclusion that it is vital to further examine the potential association between aspirin use and AMD, particularly in populations with a high risk for the disease.

What this means for you and your health

If you’re a regular aspirin user, the possibility of an increased risk of AMD may be concerning. However, it’s important to put these findings in context. The overall risk of developing neovascular AMD is still relatively low, even for those who regularly use aspirin. The doubling of the risk in the study mentioned above should be balanced against the potential benefits of aspirin use.

Aspirin has been found to have various health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and certain types of cancer. As always, it’s crucial to talk to your doctor about your individual risk factors and potential benefits before making any changes to your medication regimen.

Other side effects of aspirin

It’s important to be aware of the other potential side effects of aspirin use aside from its possible link to AMD. Some common side effects include:

  • Stomach irritation and ulcers
  • Bleeding problems
  • Allergic reactions
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

In some cases, long-term use of aspirin can lead to kidney damage and an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Again, discussing your individual health circumstances with your doctor is essential to making an informed decision about your aspirin use.


While the study linking daily aspirin use to an increased risk of neovascular age-related macular degeneration is certainly worth noting, it’s essential to weigh the potential risks against the benefits of aspirin use. For many people, the advantages of aspirin, such as reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, may outweigh the potential risk to their vision.

As with any medication, it’s vital to have open communication with your healthcare provider. Discuss your concerns and ask for their guidance to determine the best course of action for your health.

By staying informed and proactive about your health and medication, you can make better decisions to maintain your overall well-being and minimize potential risks, such as AMD.