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Researchers suggest aspirin use may lead to severe vision loss

In Minnesota, many workers suffer from vision problems. When you are in your next meeting at work, just take a look around the room to see how many people are wearing glasses. Chances are many other coworkers in the room are wearing contacts. Unless someone is considered to be legally blind, vision problems usually don't interfere with workers' abilities to do their jobs safely and well.

However, some workers are at risk of developing severe vision loss problems as they age. According to the National Eye Institute, age-related macular degeneration is a common condition that begins to affect many people once they reach their 50s. The eye disease usually develops slowly, but it can develop rapidly in about 10 percent of people who have the disease, and it can cause severe vision loss if it is not detected and treated before it progresses.

Smoking, race and a history of the disease running in one's family are all factors that may increase one's risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. However, new research suggests that using aspirin on a daily basis could also increase one's risk of developing severe vision loss.

For the study, researchers monitored participants for 15 years and conducted exams over the years to study their vision. Researchers discovered that participants who had used aspirin on a regular basis were more likely to develop a severe and blinding form of age-related macular degeneration compared to those who did not use aspirin.

The study certainly raises some concerns about the safety and effectiveness of aspirin, but researchers and doctors believe that more research must be done before determining that there is a link between regular aspirin use and severe vision loss. Aspirin still offers many benefits and it is used by millions of Americans who suffer from heart disease problems.

When workers develop age-related macular degeneration, the damage to their vision could be severe enough to cause a disability and to prevent workers from being able to work. When a worker's eye disease prevents him or her from being able to work, the individual may be eligible to obtain Social Security disability benefits.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Aspirin may raise risk of age-related macular degeneration, study says," Jan. 22, 2013

  • Our firm provides counsel to workers who suffer from severe vision loss problems. Vision problems don't automatically make folks eligible for Social Security disability benefits, but the SSA does grant disability benefits to workers who are considered legally blind and to those who cannot work due to a severe vision problem. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our Social Security disability benefits lawyers page.

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