Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) consists of an injury to the macula, a small area of the retina. This is a very light sensitive tissue that covers the back of the eye and whose mission is the clarity of the central vision.
Ophthalmology specialists point out that it is a more frequent pathology from 60 years, whose risk increases to 75 years.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
The symptoms of AMD are mainly related to central vision problems. Thus, with:
- Blurry vision
- Dark areas
- Appearance of twisted or wavy lines
It should be noted that AMD almost never causes total blindness.
Types of Macular Degeneration
There are two types of Macular Degeneration:
1. Dry AMD caused by aging and weakening of blood vessels below the macula. It is the type of degeneration that people with this pathology begin to suffer. The main symptom is having a slightly blurred vision. This type of degeneration has three stages: early, intermediate and advanced.
2. Wet DMAE. It is less frequent and is caused by the new appearance of fragile blood vessels under the macula, which leak blood and fluid. Only occurs in 10% of affected, but causes a great loss of vision. One of the main symptoms is that the straight lines look wavy.
Risk Factors for DMAE
There are a number of factors that favor the occurrence of AMD:
- Be more than 60 years old, because it is more common after that age.
- Family history of AMD.
- Being Caucasian, having more possibility of suffering the disease.
- Being a woman, since they are more exposed to AMD than men.
- Being a smoker, since smoking can increase the risk.
- Eat a diet rich in fats.
How to diagnose macular degeneration: fundus of the eye and retinal angiography
Macular degeneration is manifested by the examination of the fundus of the eye, a test in which the specialist in Ophthalmology observes the eye with a magnifying glass or biomicroscope, after dilating the pupil. This test can be supplemented with retinal angiography, an exploration that involves taking photographs of the fundus before and after injecting a product that accentuates the contrast between the vessels that supply the retina and surrounding structures. The injection of the product is somewhat painless, but it can cause nausea or vomiting passengers in the patient.
How To Treat Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is usually treated in two ways:
1. Photodynamic therapy with a drug that accumulates in the neovascular tissue of the retina. Once applied a laser is applied that closes the new glasses, thus avoiding the loss of vision in the patient.
2. Antiangiogenic therapy , indicated to treat AMD regardless of its type, location, lesion size and visual acuity of the patient.