Macular degeneration that is associated with age, belongs to a large group of diseases, and changes in the macula. This disease occurs at 50-60 years of age and 75 years of age, and its frequency increases with 25%. Macular degeneration is one of the most common causes permanent damage to central vision after age 65.
Risk factors that increase the chance of developing this disease are: age (over 50-60 years.), Family history, smoking (increases the risk of two to three times compared to people who do not smoke), hypertension, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, obesity (a risk factor especially in men) exposure to light (especially blue and sunshine), diseases of the eye, rich in vitamins, diet, food consumption in plastic bags and others.
The exact causes of this disease are not yet clearly defined, although there are a number of theories, such as the oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammatory processes that attempt to explain the emergence and development of this degeneration. The macula is responsible for central vision, which means that degeneration affects her say it. Occurs first in one eye and eventually affects the other. The first symptoms are blurred vision in the central visual field.
The lines of objects seen distorted and the colors different in each eye (metamorfopsii) objects may seem diminished (mikropsiya). Visual acuity was reduced to varying degrees, depending on the extent of the disease. In the final stage it can reach 1-3%. Since affects central vision, it remains functional peripheral and through the patient is oriented in the situation. They distinguish two forms of macular degeneration - dry and wet. In the dry form is found in the macula yellow clusters, called drusen.
Most people with these early changes, no visual impairment. They can develop macular degeneration, but may not develop it. It has been shown that the majority of people over age 55 meet Druze who in no way affect vision. The risk of developing macular degenratsiya rise if these drusen are large and numerous. The wet or exudative form occurs in about 25% of sufferers.
It binds to the so-called. neovascularization (emergence of new vessels). The growth of new vessels is stimulated by special factors. Unfortunately, these new vessels are not in their design and izdlazhlivost of normal blood vessels, so are with increased permeability and fragility of the wall. This is the reason for the "leakage" of blood and protein into the macula. Diagnosis can be made using different methodologies.