Yellow Spot Disease
macular degenerationIt is an eye disease that can lead to central vision loss. The macula, called the macular spot, is a small area in the center of the retina that is responsible for sharp vision. Although its diameter is 5 mm, it is responsible for central vision. This area is densely populated with light-sensitive photoreceptor cells. For example, actions such as needle threading and reading are performed by the macula. When the macula does not function well, the field of vision becomes blurry and dark.
In macular degeneration, lateral (peripheral) vision is not affected. However, central vision is completely affected. Macular degeneration does not cause complete blindness. These patients can do their job, but cannot walk, read or write on their own. This problem is a progressive disease. The disease is divided into dry (non-exudative) and wet (exudative).
What is dry and wet macular degeneration?
dry macular degeneration (macular degeneration) is the most common type of the disease. Dry macular degeneration begins in one eye and develops in the other eye. If one eye is affected, the brain processes information received from the other eye. Therefore, it does not significantly affect vision. Wet macular degeneration is also observed in patients with dry macular degeneration. The wet form of the disease occurs for various reasons.
What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?
In dry macular degeneration, symptoms appear slowly. However, wet-type symptoms progress very quickly. The symptoms of macular degeneration are listed in the table below:
|Symptoms of macular degeneration:|
|Visual distortion occurs and vision becomes poor in one or both eyes.|
|Light is needed when reading or doing fine manual work due to weakening of vision.|
|Difficulty reading printed words and books.|
|It is difficult to recognize human faces.|
What are the causes of macular degeneration?
Causes of macular degeneration is not known exactly. However, experts think that this problem is caused by resource potential and genetic factors.
What are the risk factors?
There are many risk factors for macular degeneration. The studies are as follows regarding the information that can be completed with the following factors:
- Age: As age increases, the incidence of the disease will increase. The disease rate increases in people over 50 years of age.
- Family history and genetic factors: Studies have found genes that cause macular degeneration. Accordingly, the disease is considered a hereditary feature.
- Race: The disease is more common in white-skinned people than in other races.
- smoking: Smoking or exposure to smoke increases the risk.
- Obesity: The disease progresses faster in obese people.
- cardiovascular diseases: If individuals have diseases that affect the heart or blood vessels, they are at higher risk for macular degeneration.
Those who experience severe vision loss due to the disease become at risk of depression over time. Apart from this, some patients experience what is called visual oscillation hallucinations. The hallucinations here are not caused by mental illness. These hallucinations develop while the patient is conscious and out of control.
Is it possible to prevent macular degeneration?
Although the disease cannot be completely prevented, it is possible to slow down the progression of the disease. For this reason, it is very important to have regular eye examinations. Apart from this, quality of life measurements slow down the progression of the disease. It will also cause the disease to appear later.
Studies have shown that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits slows the progression of the disease. Especially foods containing antioxidants should be included in meals.
Treatment of macular degeneration
In the past, doctors used lasers to treat abnormal blood vessel or capillary growth. However, these treatments would, at best, slow the progression of the disease. But it wouldn’t improve vision. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) inhibitors developed in recent years have helped patients. This drug, given to patients via intraocular injection, stabilizes vision. However, it provides a significant improvement in the vision of many patients.
Intravenous drug injections are not used for dry macular degeneration. For this, experts recommend dietary supplements.