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News » Age-related macular degeneration: to know and distinguish it from other visual disorders
Age-related macular degeneration: to know and distinguish it from other visual disorders
By the term macular degeneration, reference is made, in the medical field, for a retinal disease that leads to an alteration, in terms of reduction, of the function of the "macula", the central area of the retina. The macula serves to ensure a central distinct vision, to read, for example, or to drive, to recognize faces, etc.
At the center of the macula are present photoreceptors (cones), cells are able to transform the light signals into electrochemical impulses. The macula is altered as a result of the aging process of the eye losing those representing its original features.
So much it takes place following the death of retinal cells that can take place in a slow or more progressive. With the aging population is expected to increase in the future the percentage of patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration meant, unfortunately, to grow.
In Italy it is estimated that about one million people suffering from macular degeneration, having a larger impact, especially after 75 years, while it is quite rare before age 55.
How they manifest its symptoms
The first symptoms of macular degeneration are manifested by a distortion of images just in the center of the field, where he directs his gaze. It manifests a difficulty in reading, in activities at close range, as well as a more or less pronounced loss in visual perception of color brilliance.
Despite being a highly disabling disease, it does not lead, fortunately, to total blindness, side vision and paracentral fact remains preserved.
Recognizing macular degeneration and distinguish it from other eye pathologies, which, just as an example, cataracts, it is not entirely easy for the patient, having to be, this assessment, referred to the jurisdiction of only specialists.
However it can be assumed that the cataract is manifested by opacification of the lens charged that, while altering normal vision, does not create particular difficulties in performing normal daily activities, which instead takes place in the presence of macular degeneration.
types of macular degeneration
The age-related macular degeneration (or related macular) degeneration can be classified in dry form (or atrophic) and wet (or exudative). These two special classifications have different prognosis and therapies to the point that almost could be considered two distinct diseases.
The dry form is the most cases (over 85%). In this case the central retina, which were not fed by the capillaries, thins and atrophies.
The form of the degeneration considered damp (10-15% of cases) is among the two most serious one.
It, in fact, is aggravated by the formation of new capillaries with a very fragile wall.
In more severe cases, unfortunately, these capillaries may break and cause retinal hemorrhage that recur in time with the end with the result in the formation of a central scar.
Both forms are associated with macular level to the formation of colloids bodies.
It is waste deposits situated under the retina, of round shape, that may present a less severe form the (hard drusen) or more harmful (soft drusen).
Note: the above text has been translated from Italian with Google Translator, so be indulgent if some sentences ..don’t make much sense. Use your imagination…..