📩 03/10/2023 12:03
Acıbadem Taksim Hospital Eye Health and Diseases Specialist Prof. Dr. Ayşe Öner explained what you need to know about macular degeneration in 6 points and made important warnings and suggestions.
What is Macular Degeneration (Age-Related Macular Degeneration)?
Acıbadem Taksim Hospital Eye Health and Diseases Specialist Prof. states that the macula area (the yellow spot area at the back of our eyes) is a small area in the middle of the retina layer responsible for sharp and color vision. Dr. Ayşe Öner said, “Age-related Macular Degeneration disease affecting this area is popularly known as macular degeneration. There are two types of this disease; These are wet type and dry type. Approximately 90 percent of patients have the dry type. This type develops more slowly and vision loss may take years to occur. Wet type is seen in 10 percent of patients, but in this type vision loss begins more suddenly and progresses rapidly.” He made a statement.
Attention! These factors increase the risk!
Underlining that the most important risk factor in macular degeneration is advancing age, Prof. Dr. Ayşe Öner pointed out that regular eye checks should be performed after the age of 50, especially if there is a family history, and listed other risk factors that increase the disease as follows: "Smoking history, light colored eyes, hypertension, heart disease and exposure to UV rays."
If you have these symptoms!
Prof. Dr. Ayşe Öner said, “Seeing colors as pale, seeing blurry text, and seeing smooth lines as crooked are the initial complaints of the disease. In addition, problems such as seeing a blurry area or a dark spot in the middle of the object being viewed may occur. As the disease progresses, people experience intense vision loss in the middle of their visual field. “These problems prevent people from doing important activities such as reading and driving and restrict their lives.” he said.
But complete cure is not possible!
Prof. Dr. Ayşe Öner said that macular degeneration is generally an irreversible disease and continued as follows: "There is no treatment method that has been shown to be effective for dry type macular degeneration, but various vitamin and mineral supplements and drugs with antioxidant properties such as lutein are used." . In addition, if you smoke, it is recommended to quit smoking, protect yourself from the sun, and wear sunglasses that protect from UV rays. When wet macular degeneration is detected at an early stage, vision can be preserved at the current level and the progression of the disease can be slowed down with treatment. In the treatment, drug injections are administered into the eye at regular intervals. "In order to get good results from the treatment, it is important for patients to comply with the treatment and come for regular check-ups."
The latest developments that will hinder its progress!
Pointing out that many scientific studies have been conducted on this subject, Prof. Dr. Ayşe Öner said, “Stem cell treatments have been successfully applied for dry type macular degeneration in recent years. With stem cell treatment, the progression of the disease can be stopped and even vision gains can be achieved in some patients. It is also expected that new drugs will soon become available to stop the progression of dry type. "There is also a lot of research on the development of long-acting anti-VEGF drugs for wet macular degeneration." said.
Pay attention to these points according to their types!
Prof. said that many people will not realize that they have a macular problem until blurred vision occurs. Dr. Ayşe Öner concluded her words as follows: “Therefore, it is usually diagnosed incidentally during an eye examination performed for another reason. Everyone aged 50 and over should be routinely checked for macular degeneration. Those who have family members and close relatives with this disease should be followed up regularly starting from childhood. Smokers, diabetics, and those with cardiovascular disease such as hypertension should be checked at an early age as they are at high risk for the disease. Since it is not possible to completely cure the disease, treatment requires continuity. "It is recommended that patients undergo regular retinal examination at regular intervals."