Age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the main cause of irreversible vision loss in developed countries in people over the age of 55.
AMD, as its name indicates, is a progressive degeneration of the central region of the retina called the macula.
The macula is responsible for central vision, necessary for everyday activities such as reading, driving, identifying people, etc.
Types of AMD
There are 2 types of AMD:
- Dry form: this is the most common type, affecting approximately 80-90% of people who suffer from AMD. The loss of vision is very slow.
- Wet form: this is the least common form (10-20%), but it is the most severe because the loss of vision is very fast.
- Age is the most significant risk factor. Although in general it occurs in people over the age of 65, there are also cases starting from the age of 55.
- Genetic factors that predispose to suffering from the disease.
- Exposure to sunlight.
- Iris colour (light-coloured eyes more than dark-coloured eyes).
- Deficit of natural nutrients present in the retina.
How do I know if I am suffering from AMD?
- If you notice a progressive reduction in vision (days or weeks)
- Distorted perception of images.
- Appearance of dark spots in the central field of vision.
These symptoms must be assessed by an ophthalmologist, given that they can be the initial symptoms of AMD.
Recommendations for the Prevention of AMD
1.- Stop smoking
2.- Protection from the sun
Avoid the direct action of the sun's rays in the eyes using good sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection
Visit your ophthalmologist regularly from the age of 55, especially if you have any family history of the condition.
Published scientific studies have demonstrated how the daily intake of some nutrients prevent the risk of suffering from AMD. The nutrients studied are vitamins C and E, zinc, copper, lutein and zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA
For dry AMD, primary PREVENTION and the prevention of the disease's progression is very important. It is important to modify the risk factors when possible (smoking, diet, sunlight exposure, etc.)
For wet AMD, in recent years drugs known as anti-VEGF (anti-angiogenic agents) have emerged that are administered in the form of injections.