What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular Degeneration is a degenerative disease which affects the Macula which is the part of the Retina responsible for our “central vision”.
This disease is caused by the damage endured by the Macula over time, which is why it predominantly affects people of a relatively advanced age (which gives rise to its name of ARMD, short for Age Related Macular Degeneration).
Besides the degenerative nature of the disease, the biggest problem is that the damage caused may be irreversible if it is not treated in time, which is why it is vitally important to detect any sign of its existence at the earliest possible time.
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The Retina is the light sensitive tissue which lines the inside of the eye. It collects images which are subsequently sent to the Brain through the Optic Nerve for processing. It is like a canvas onto which images are projected, like in cinemas.
If any person suffers damage to this tissue, it may seriously affect their vision in a permanent and irreversible manner. That is why it is very important to detect its existence in time in order to prevent this damage to the greatest possible extent.
Types of Macular Degeneration
Dry Macular Degeneration
This is the most common form of macular degeneration. It occurs when the cells of the Macula progressively deteriorate which gradually causes central vision to become blurred.
Wet Macular Degeneration
It occurs as a result of the formation under the retina of blood vessels with very fine walls which can filter fluids and blood. The result is that central vision is affected. This kind of macular degeneration is more aggressive and develops more quickly.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Any person affected by Macular Degeneration will find it increasingly difficult to see the centre of an image that he/she is looking at: the patient will realise that he/she cannot focus correctly on central areas and that it is difficult to perform basic activities such as reading or driving.
It is difficult to detect early because it is practically an asymptomatic disease in its initial stage and it is therefore difficult for patients to perceive by themselves.
Furthermore, although the disease usually affects both eyes, it does not do so at the same time, which adds a negative factor to its early detection by the patient and when he/she does begin to notice its effects, the likelihood is that both eyes will already be affected.
One symptom that indicates that the disease has been aggravated is that straight lines appear wavy. In this case, you should make an emergency appointment to see an Ophthalmologist.
In recent years, the treatment of macula-related diseases has been revolutionised by the emergence of innovative treatments involving the use of anti-angiogenic drugs, which allow previously unimaginable results to be achieved based on classic means such as the laser.
You should note that, over time, the visual system is more likely to suffer from damage which leads to ocular disorders or pathologies, some of which do not show any symptoms at the beginning.
Macular Degeneration is an example of what we refer to as “silent pathologies”.
More than ever, in these cases, prevention is the best cure. In other words, it is very important to visit the Ophthalmologist once a year for a routine and simple test.
Frequently asked questions about Macular Degeneration
Am I more predisposed to ARMD if there is a family history?
Yes. The factors which make you prone to suffering from macular degeneration include the fact that other members of your family have already been affected.
What are the other risk factors of Macular Degeneration?
Various forms of oxidative stress, such as smoking, high blood pressure or arteriosclerosis (typical pathology associated with obesity), are risk factors in the development of macular degeneration. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation or strict diets also contribute to the development of this disease. Caucasians are also more predisposed to this disease than other races. As regards differences between genders, women are also more predisposed to ARMD than men.
Can dry macular degeneration turn into the wet type?
Yes. In actual fact, wet macular degeneration is considered to be an advanced form of dry macular degeneration.
Is there any way to prevent it?
No. As things currently stand, there is no way to prevent the onset of macular degeneration because it is associated with ageing. You are advised to maintain a healthy diet, not to smoke and submit to regular tests from the age of 50.
A team of the highest professional standards
Central Ocular boasts a highly qualified professional medical team which has vast experience in presbyopia operations. Your vision could not be in better hands.
Our technological capabilities are based on the most advanced equipment which allows us to provide our patients undergoing presbyopia procedures with the best possible guarantees.
The best facilities
The outstanding facilities at Central Ocular mean that presbyopia procedures are performed in optimum conditions of safety and comfort for the patient. We make you feel right at home.
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The best form of publicity is provided by our patients who have undergone the presbyopia procedure. I wish I’d had it done sooner! A source of great satisfaction for the whole of our medical team.