blindness

  1. Aspirin triples blindness risk

    Regular aspirin use linked to wet AMD

    The news on aspirin just keeps getting worse.

    Hot on the heels of a study I just told you about that finds -- again -- that regular aspirin use can lead to blindness, a second new study puts some numbers on that risk.

    And if you're taking aspirin yourself right now, you might want to sit down for this one.

    Yeah, it's that bad.

    The study of 2,400 Australians finds that regular aspirin use -- forget once a day, we're talking even once a week here -- can TRIPLE the risk of wet age-related macular degeneration.

    Wet AMD is the more serious of the two forms of the disease. It is more severe, more likely to lead to blindness, and -- more importantly -- it is incurable.

    It's also the rarer form of AMD, at least among people who don't take aspirin. In the new study, just 3.7 percent of those who used the drug only occasionally went on to develop it.

    But for people who took the drug once a week or more, that risk shot up. Nearly 10 percent of them became wet AMD patients, according to the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    On the plus side, think of the bonanza for eye doctors here. Aspirin could be their own version of an economic stimulus program.

    Maybe they're the ones really funding all the "wonder drug" commercials and still trying to convince docs to recommend daily aspirin use to all their patients. But unless you're planning to spend some time with an ophthalmologist yourself, do yourself a favor and skip the aspirin.

    There isn't much reason to take it anyway.

    Supposedly, aspirin use can prevent the clots that lead to heart attack and stroke -- but in some patients, they can actually CAUSE those clots. And other studies have shown that any small benefit is more than offset by the risks, including the risk of severe internal bleeding, bleeding ulcers, and bleeding in the brain.

    Who needs it?

    If you want to protect the heart and thin your blood at the same time, stick to fish oil instead.

  2. Contact lens germ can eat your eyeballs

    The bug in your water that could make you go blind

    Here's something to keep an eye on, especially if you wear contact lenses: There's a bug turning up in the water that can eat your eyeballs right out of your head.

    It's a single-celled parasite called Acanthamoeba, so small you can't see it with the naked eye.

    But that doesn't mean it's not there.

    It's found in tap water, showers, swimming pools, and more -- and since it loves to snack on dirty contact lenses, anyone who wears the things faces a much higher risk of infection.

    That infection starts with red, itchy, and painful eyes. Then, things go blurry. And once the bug eats through the cornea, you're in the dark... perhaps permanently.

    Some people need weeks of treatment or even a cornea transplant -- and even then, there's no guarantee you'll ever see right again.

    Luckily, you can slash your risk of infection without giving up your contacts. Just make sure you follow some common sense -- like carefully washing your hands before you put your lenses in and take them out.

    Clean your lens case regularly, and never use tap water as contact lens solution -- you may as well give the bug an invitation into your eyeball if you do. Even ordinary contact lens solution won't do the trick here, so be sure to use one that contains hydrogen peroxide.

    Finally, keep Acanthamoeba and all the other bugs, chemicals, and drugs out of your water by installing a reverse osmosis water filter. Since this amoeba can strike in the kitchen, bathroom or even your shower, install the filter where the water enters your home to make sure every tap is protected.

  3. Diabetes drugs can cause vision loss and blindness

    A new warning for anyone taking common diabetes drugs, including Actos and Avandia: These drugs can double or even triple the risk of serious vision loss.
  4. Don't trust new Gardasil 'study'

    You'd have to be on the Merck payroll to believe the company's dangerous HPV vaccine is actually safe. And sure enough, the latest study to make that claim was funded by none other than Merck itself.
  5. Deadly vaccine gets massive new push

    Hide your sons and grandsons, folks -- the day I've warned you about is finally here: A federal panel is urging docs to start giving dangerous HPV vaccines to boys.
  6. Antidepressants linked to cataract risk

    Big Pharma is robbing you blind -- and that's not just a figure of speech, because antidepressant meds will boost your risk for cataracts.

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