Macular degeneration

La Macular degeneration associated with age is DMAE by its acronym, it is an eye disease that affects central vision, decreasing its effectiveness progressively.

AMD is currently considered as the most common cause of decreased vision in Westerners 60 over years. Therefore, identifying its symptoms and detecting the disease early is essential to prevent it from evolving until it irreversibly affects vision.

Macular degeneration

La Macular degeneration associated with age is DMAE by its acronym, it is an eye disease that affects central vision, decreasing its effectiveness progressively.

AMD is currently considered as the most common cause of decreased vision in Westerners 60 over years. Therefore, identifying its symptoms and detecting the disease early is essential to prevent it from evolving until it irreversibly affects vision.

Causes of macular degeneration

The macula is a small area of ​​the retina in charge of central vision that helps us see the details of our surroundings with greater clarity and clarity.

However, due to the process of aging itself, the blood vessels that supply the macula can be damaged, causing degeneration in this area.

The specialists do not know the exact cause of this disease, although it is known that aging is one of its main triggers, because this condition is uncommon in patients younger than 55 years.

In addition to aging, some of the risk factors associated with macular degeneration are:

  • Have a family history of this disease.
  • Smoke.
  • Carry a diet rich in fat.
  • Suffer high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
  • Macular degeneration associated with age is more common in Caucasian people older than 60 years, with a higher incidence in women.

 

Type

There are two types of age-related macular degeneration o maculopathies:

Dry

Dry macular degeneration occurs due to a weakening of the blood vessels under the macula, which causes the formation of small deposits of cellular debris or drusen in that area. Its evolution is slow and progressive, being the most common type with an incidence greater than 75%. Most patients suffering from dry macular degeneration have normal vision or a very slight loss of it.

Wet

Wet macular degeneration consists of an abnormal growth of blood vessels under the retina. These vessels release blood and fluid, which causes a noticeable central vision disorder. It advances rapidly and is the type most associated with the loss of vision related to the disease.

The symptoms of this condition can vary depending on the type you suffer.

macular degeneration

symptom

Depending on the type of DMAE, the symptoms may vary, however at the beginning of the disease the patient will not notice signs of its presence.

Once it advances, the following conditions may manifest:

DMAE dry

  • Blurry vision.
  • Loss of intensity of focused colors with central vision.
  • Perception of distorted objects.
  • Difficulty reading or perceiving small details during reading, when watching television, when driving, etc.
  • Perception of blurred areas in the central vision.
  • In advanced cases, difficulty in recognizing faces and objects until they are not very close.

Wet DMAE

  • Perception of straight lines as twisted or wavy, the characteristic symptom of this type of macular degeneration.
  • Loss of central vision.
  • The size of the objects can be different between one eye and another.
  • Perception of a dark spot in the center of the vision that, as it advances, becomes larger.

This disease can cause a loss of rapid central vision, so it is important to go to the first symptoms to an ophthalmologist, who will perform a full scan to rule out the presence of this and other conditions.

Diagnosis

A good ophthalmologic exploration is key to the diagnosis. At the first signs, and especially if the patient is older than 60 years, the specialist will perform an exhaustive observation of the macula and associated injuries to know their status.

It is usually performed an examination known as fundus or fluorescein angiography, where a contrast liquid is injected to see how it behaves in the retina and if it shows any damage to the blood vessels in the macula.

The ophthalmologist can also perform an optical coherence tomography. This test allows to visualize the anatomy of the retina and the macula, to see the lesions that produce the abnormal growth of the vessels and to monitor the disease.

I diagnose macular degeneration

Treatment for macular degeneration

Once this condition has been diagnosed, treatment may vary depending on the type of macular degeneration that occurs, even becoming necessary vitrectomy. However, there is no option to recover the central vision that has been lost, which is why premature diagnosis is very important.

Dry macular degeneration

  • Smoking should be discontinued if the patient is a smoker in order to prevent the condition from getting worse.
  • The ophthalmologist may prescribe the intake of vitamin C and supplements of zinc, copper and antioxidants, which help prevent the disease from progressing.
  • Periodic ophthalmic examinations are basic to maintain the condition controlled.

Wet macular degeneration

  • Management medication injected into the eye to reduce existing blood and fluid and block the growth of blood vessels. This procedure is painless and outpatient.
  • Laser surgery to destroy the blood vessels that have formed.

The choice of treatment will depend entirely on the evaluation and opinion of a specialist.

Importance of ophthalmologic examinations in the elderly

Cellular aging leads to the appearance of many degenerative eye diseases that can seriously compromise our vision.

In addition to macular degeneration, other conditions such as the cataracts, glaucoma or Diabetic eye problems can cause irreversible damage to our vision, seriously affecting our quality of life.

It is for this reason that from the 50 years the ophthalmological reviews must be done annually in order to detect any condition that compromises the vision.

In the case of patients with a family history or who already have certain diseases that can affect the eyes, such as diabetes, the check-ups can be done more frequently.

En Área Oftalmológica Avanzada we help you take care of your eyes with the best team of specialists. Visit us and discover it.

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Macular degeneration
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Macular degeneration
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Macular degeneration is the first cause of visual decline in older than 60 years. We explain the symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment.
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Área Oftalmológica Avanzada
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