Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is one of the main causes of vision loss in elderly patients
What is AMD?
AMD or Age-related Macular Degeneration is an ocular degenerative disease that affects the central area of the retina or macula. This causes a progressive deterioration of the cell epithelium of the retina that reproduce blurred vision.
It mainly affects people in advanced ages. However, several risk factors for ARMD have been described:
There are 2 types of AMD
DRY or ARTHROPHIC AMD
It affects 80% of patients and is characterized by a slow and progressive evolution. The formation and accumulation of lipid or drusen deposits in the area atrophy the macula and cause the patient to slowly lose vision in the central area of his visual field.
WET or EXEMPTIVE AMD
It is characterized by the growth of new blood vessels with very thin walls, which end up filtering fluids and blood to the macula. These blood vessels cause a rapid loss of vision.
Where is the macula?
The macula is located in the center of the retina. It is the tissue most sensitive to light and is located at the bottom of the eye. The retina immediately converts the light into electrical impulses and sends these impulses, or nervous signals, to the brain, which forms the image.
The macula is responsible for the central vision and detailed vision. Therefore, activities as frequent as reading, driving, watching television or other types of screens (mobile phones, tablets, computers …).
It is a disease that presents a series of visual symptoms that can be detected. Straight lines may appear bent, distance estimates may be altered, and there may be increased sensitivity to light.
In an initial phase there may be blurred vision in the central part of the field of vision, and in more advanced stages may be accompanied by a black spot, being able to increase in size the longer the pathology evolves.
The disease usually starts in one eye, but eventually ends up affecting both. Reason why the patient is not aware of the visual problem until he has reached an advanced development of macular degeneration.
AMD can not be prevented, however, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and having eye exams after a certain age will help to delay its appearance
Tips to prevent and slow the progression of AMD
Eat a healthy diet rich in antioxidants (such as vitamin C) and Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA).
Intake of food supplements rich in Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and carotenes.
Give up smoking. Tobacco significantly increases the risk of developing AMD.
Controlled blood pressure. High blood pressure, as well as cardiovascular diseases are risk factors.
Use of sunglasses. Solar radiation increases the risk of the appearance of AMD.