NEWS BRIEF: “Spotting” this eye problem could SAVE YOUR LIFE

Experiencing changes to your vision is quite common as you age.

But just because they are common, doesn’t mean you should shrug them off…

In fact, researchers with Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York just found that heart attack and stroke victims are NINE TIMES more likely to have one, common, age-related eye problem.

And if your eye doctor “spots” it in time, it could just save your life.

Leading cause of blindness… and death?

More than 20 million Americans suffer from a vision condition called age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

It’s the leading cause of blindness in Americans over 65. And there are two specific early forms of it:

AMD with drusen is a form of the disease whereby small, yellow cholesterol deposits form in a layer under the retina. These deposits deprive the retina of blood and oxygen, leading to vision loss. Fortunately, vitamin supplementation can slow the development of drusen. And formulas that contain vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and copper appear to be most effective.2

AMD with subretinal drusenoid deposits (SDD) is a lesser-known form of the disease. And it requires high-tech retinal imaging to diagnose. Plus, unlike regular drusen, SDDs contain a different form of cholesterol and occur in a different layer under the retina, where they impair vision and cause permanent damage that you can’t repair or treat.

But researchers recently uncovered something even more troubling about AMD with SDDs…

For this investigation, they analyzed the eyes of 200 AMD patients with retinal imaging to determine which ones had the more harmful SDDs. In addition, they asked patients to answer questions about their personal history of cardiovascular disease.

It turns out, men and women who had already suffered a major cardiovascular disease event, such as a heart attack or stroke, were more than NINE TIMES more likely to have SDDs than those without them.

The researchers say they hope their discovery will one day help prevent life-threatening cardiac events. And I’m hopeful too—because if someone with asymptomatic heart disease is found to have SDDs at their routine eye appointment, it could allow that person the time to make important changes to their diet and lifestyle before it’s too late!

At the end of the day, this finding about the dangers of SDDs is just one more reason to take your eye health very seriously.

So, start scheduling annual vision tests. It just may save your heart… and your life!


  1. “Failing eyesight may be a warning sign of a heart attack or stroke.” Study Finds, 11/17/22. (
  2. “What You Need to Know About Drusen.” Healthline, 1/8/19. (