What is macular degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a lesion or collapse in a small area of the retina called the macula. This is a light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye, and is responsible for the sharpness of central vision.
It is the most frequent cause of severe decline in the western world. In Spain, macular degeneration affects more than 13% of people over 65 years of age.
The most frequent risk factors in AMD are:
- It usually occurs in people over 60 years of age.
- Family history.
- Being of white race. White people are more likely to suffer from this disease.
- Being a woman. Women are more likely to suffer from AMD than men.
- Tobacco. Important factor that may increase the risk.
- High-fat diet.
There are two types of age-related macular degeneration:
- Dry AMD occurs when the blood vessels under the macula age and become thin and fragile. It accounts for 85% of all cases.
- Wet AMD is less frequent. This is caused by the appearance of new fragile blood vessels under the macula that leak blood and fluid. It only occurs in 10% of people.
The symptoms of AMD are related to central vision problems. The most frequent ones produce blurred vision, dark areas or the appearance of crooked or wavy lines.
All these symptoms will lead to difficulty in performing daily tasks such as reading, watching television, driving, cooking, etc.
However, in less mild cases, patients usually do not present any symptoms. Therefore, it is advisable to visit an ophthalmologist in order to be evaluated and treat the problem as soon as possible.
Oftálica treats Macular Degeneration using:
- Photodynamic therapy with Visudyne. This technique is based on the administration of the sustainable drug that accumulates in the neovascular tissue of the retina. A laser then closes the new vessels, preventing vision loss.
- By means of antiangiogenic agents. These are indicated for the treatment of AMD regardless of the subtype, location and size of the lesion and the patient’s visual acuity.
Treatments for Age-Related Macular Degeneration prevent blindness in more than 95% of cases, and restore vision in one out of three cases.
To reduce the risk of suffering it, it is advisable to protect oneself from ultraviolet radiation with sunglasses, stop smoking and eat a proper diet.