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Anti-Cholesterol Drugs May Prevent Blindness

Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 07:10 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

Age-related macular disease (AMD) is a gradual loss of vision in older adults. It’s a common cause of blindness and often requires surgery.

New research has shed light on the treatment possibilities of AMD, however. It’s believed that AMD is caused by small deposits of cholesterol. Drops and injections containing anti-cholesterol medications are being tested and showing to be helpful in slowing down the vision loss associated with AMD.

Anti-cholesterol medicines (statins) may be used in the near future to prevent blindness.  Much like heart, the eyes rely on healthy arteries, blood vessels, and veins. When they become blocked by cholesterol deposits, either from a poor diet or heredity, it limits the amount of blood and oxygen that can pass through. And much like having a heart attack, once those passages are clogged, it causes a host of problems.

Heart disease is often treated with cholesterol reducing medications known as statins. Th problem with these cholesterol-reducing drugs is that they carry a risk for side effects, such as:

  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver damage
  • High blood sugar
  • Confusion and memory loss

The good thing about the anti-cholesterol drugs to prevent blindness and reduce AMD is that they have fewer side effects than their oral counterparts. The medicine is targeted specifically to treat the tiny vessels in the eye.

Only time will tell if this new treatment method will be offered as a treatment option for AMD in place of surgery.

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