Friday, 8 February 2013

Did You Know,Aspirin Use Could Make Us Blind?

About a month ago one of my molar tooth was taken off by my nearby dentist.He prescribed me aspirin  for any pain I would have after the tooth extraction. At that time my reaction was, oh my God! It is aspirin.As I never took one ever before and in that time I again did not want to take one for its popularity in providing GIT damage as its major side effect ( also prolonging bleeding time ). But suddenly I thought of taking one tablet of aspirin and experiencing the kind of GIT side effect it is supposed to provide, a somewhat burning sensation in your stomach you will feel within minutes of taking aspirin,and an excessive use without an anti - ulcerant would even lead to bleeding gastric ulcer. And very interestingly, I felt  exactly that burning within my stomach as soon as 30 minutes of ingesting the tablet.But friends, I request you not to attempt the same by yourself at home otherwise it would be a kind of aspirin misuse.

So friends, what's up there? It is very nice to know you all are trying to keep your health boosted up always. But, by sharing with you above my aspirin - experience I definitely did not want to terrify you about using aspirin. It is just that I am trying to inform you all about why not to misuse a drug such as aspirin without a prescription,  which carries such potential adverse effects. 

But the bad news is that, together with its well known capacity to damage the GIT mucosa and internal bleeding, another adverse effect of  aspirin, increasing the risk of blindness, though due to long - term and cumulative use of aspirin, is becoming a concern among us about the use of aspirin and strongly bring about the consideration, if the profit of using aspirin out - weighs its such adverse effects or not, when prescribing aspirin for a particular medical condition.

This adverse effect of aspirin which I was talking in the above is the increased risk of blindness associated with long - term    aspirin use ( about 10 - 15 years of aspirin  use ). 

The need for long - term use of aspirin comes to patients with heart diseases and who are at future risks of stroke, heart attack, myocardial infarction, angina, etc. as taking  a small dose of  aspirin daily or regularly to function as a prophylactic act  in preventing the above risks.But more often, the above risks or diseases are noticed in patients with ages above 45, except the long - term aspirin users with rheumatoid arthritis which can also be seen in young people.

The above mentioned patients are at the risk of  developing a kind of blindness known as wet age - related macular degeneration ( AMD ) which is normally seen to occur in patients with no aspirin use of ages  between 50s - mid 60s, an aging problem actually, but long - term aspirin use could increase that risk triply.

Now let me make you know something about wet - AMD.

Age - related macular degeneration ( AMD ) is a medical condition which usually affects older adults ( > 50years of age ) and results in a loss of vision in the center  of the visual field ( the macula ) because of damage to the ' sweet spot ' in the retina. It is a major cause of blindness  and visual impairment in older people which makes it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision retains other activities of daily life. Two types of AMD : 

Dry - AMD :  caused by loss of photo - receptors in the eye's central part 

Wet - AMD : caused by blood vessels growing in the wrong  lace, i.e. in the eye's central part which causes bleeding and swelling which ultimately damages the retina and can cause damage in the vision even in days as the process is very quick.

 The main risk factors for ADM are age, smoking, and a family history too.

Aspirin users, it is important for you to note the following important points if :

- aspirin is used by patents having wet - AMD already 
- due to risk of developing wet - AMD, aspirin use is stopped in high risk heart patients, then
  health risk will outweigh benefits of stopping  its use

But to relax you somewhat with the use of aspirin, wishing to inform you that since this adverse effect associated with aspirin use is not yet  overwhelmed and still requires further research to clarify evidences supporting the fact that changes should be made by the doctors on how aspirin have been prescribed throughout the years  to their patients requiring aspirin at their most.

Until the evidences get clarified completely, the patients already in aspirin use should not stop using it without the doctor's concern and are advised to let your doctor know as soon as any symptoms of vision complication arise.

At the end, actaully there is nothing to get sad about aspirin use because aspirin is a great treatment for heart patients preventing future heart attacks and strokes and also a drug bringing about a great innovation in the field cancer prevention, about which I am soon going to introduce to you.   

Today  I am ending with the hope that, after reading my today's above post you all will try keep yourselves alert about prescribing it to your patients and also about its use.Till we next gather in Pharmacy Talks, hoping you will stay healthy, be passionate and keep blogging.

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