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In the ocular structure there are cellular debris or debris that the eye is not able to eliminate through the blood flow and that, as a consequence, accumulate to form deposits of variable composition. These clusters are known as drusen and can appear in the taint of the retina or optic nerve

The presence of drusen in the retina is one of the most important risk factors of the age-related macular degeneration. In Área Oftalmológica Avanzada We explain below what drusen are. 


What are drusen?

Drusen are yellowish deposits of cellular debris and debris present in the eye that the body has not been able to eliminate through the bloodstream. Although they can be of varied composition, most drusen are made up of lipids, that is, fatty proteins. 

Types of drusen

There are two types of drusen, macular drusen and optic nerve drusen:

macular drusen

Macular drusen are found in the macula of the retina and appear as yellowish nodules of different sizes that, if not associated with any disease of the macula, are totally asymptomatic. 

There are small macular drusen, delineated and separated from each other that, in general, do not represent any warning signs for vision. On the other hand, soft, large, grouped macular drusen with undefined borders are those that increase the risk of suffering from AMD. 

The macular damage caused by drusen is usually recognized by the bulging of the retina; these small mountains of drusen in the tissue can be observed during a Ophthalmological examination By scanning with a OCT. At this point it is vital to treat drusen to prevent macular degeneration

optic nerve drusen

Druze optic nerve is more common in children and is not considered a vision loss factor, although they do generate some deficiency in peripheral vision.

Optic nerve drusen are made up of calcium salts and proteins and, unlike macular drusen, are usually present in both eyes and are not related to aging. 

Causes that cause them

Macular drusen are associated with the natural aging process. These deposits are produced because the body is not able to efficiently remove waste and cellular waste from the eye through the blood.

Main symptoms

Drusen are asymptomatic until the moment they begin to affect the macula. Hence the importance of regularly attending the ophthalmological consultation to examine eye structure and prevent the damage that drusen can cause in the eye.

When the patient has a large number of soft macular drusen, the following symptoms may occur: 

  • Blurred vision.
  • Difficulty seeing correctly when we move from a bright environment to a dark environment. 
  • Appearance of a white dot blurred in the campor visual

Drusen of the optic nerve often cause loss of peripheral vision and the appearance of a gray scintillation in the campor visual 

Diagnosis of drusen

Drusen are detected by examining the fundus of the eye with the dilated pupil. To examine the dilated eye, the ophthalmologist will likely use a ophthalmoscope, instrument that allows observing ampthe retina and check the presence of drusen in the macula. 

In case the specialist detects the presence of soft drusen in the macula, he or she may use the Amsler grid to identify signs of macular degeneration, areas where vision is blurred, wavy, or dark. 

When the ophthalmologist suspects that there may be drusen in the optic nerve, he will request other tests such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) to verify the diagnosis. 

Recommended treatment

The treatment of drusen will depend on the type that the patient has and the state of health of the ocular structure. 

  • Soft drusen can be treated through antiangiogenic drug therapy. However, the treatment of these deposits depends on the condition of the macula. 
  • Hard drusen does not represent any risk to visual health and, therefore, does not require any type of treatment.

If you suspect you have drusen in the eye or need to perform a ophthalmic control, contact us and make an appointment with one of our specialists.

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Druze are yellow deposits of debris and cellular debris present in the eye. We tell you everything you need to know.
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