Sunday, 19 November 2023
Addressing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has become a priority from an ophthalmology point of view, given that this disease is the main cause of blindness in the population over 55 years of age in Spain. It is estimated that about 350,000 people suffer from this pathology and to this prevalence, which increases due to greater life expectancy in our country, we must add its severity and frequency. It increases rapidly after the age of 70 and affects even healthy eyes after the age of 85 due to the bilateral nature of AMD. The urgency to find the best possible solution to treat this disease has led Oftalvist to invest in a testing department. Clinics for the development of new drugs, the best medicine and the most innovative treatments to slow the progression of DRY AMD and prevent blindness in more than 95% of cases and restore vision in one in every three cases of WET AMD. The determination to find the best treatments for its patients has kept the Oftalvist Group at the forefront of innovation for thirty years, with forty ophthalmology centers throughout Spain and, in the case of Granada, clinics on Avenida de la Constitution and the hospital. Amalodbhava.
What is AMD?
When we talk about AMD, according to Dr. Eva Delgado Alonso, one of the people in charge of the Ophthalmologist Center in Granada, “we are talking about the central part of the retina, which is the most important anatomical part Because that is what will allow it. Our central vision, recognizing people, being able to read, appreciating details, telephone numbers… Whatever the precise vision is it depends on that area. It measures one millimeter. And it has the highest metabolic needs of the entire body. It is exposed to sunlight. We have very internalized the protection of the skin with respect to sunlight radiation, but not at the eye level. This attention It should be kept in mind that the areas most exposed to ultraviolet radiation are the skin and the eye, where it penetrates directly and especially into this central area. “It is very sensitive and small, so any damage affecting it The thing will result in very significant changes and loss of vision.”
It is the most common cause of blindness in developed countries and mainly affects the population over the age of 55 or 60. “There are some hereditary factors that determine its appearance – the doctor explains – but the most important modifiable risk factors are sun exposure, tobacco and unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as obesity or a sedentary lifestyle.”
types of amd
Dry macular degeneration must be differentiated from wet macular degeneration. «The first is the most common and accounts for 90% of all types of macular degeneration. It is characterized by progressive degeneration of the macula, the central area of the retina, producing a very slow and gradual loss of vision. It is usually asymmetric and when it affects only one eye, we may not notice it if the other eye is seeing well. Therefore, it is important to undergo periodic checkups in the ophthalmology clinic to detect the early stages of this disease.
“There is no cure” for DRY AMD. In these cases it is advisable to change your lifestyle habits, quit tobacco and protect yourself well with sunglasses. Vitamin complexes that are antioxidants, specifically designed for retinal cells, are also often recommended. With this we can slow down the progress of the disease a little.
The other 10% disease is WET AMD. “It occurs in older people and vision loss is more devastating and worrying because it happens quickly.” You may lose central vision within a few weeks. We have several medications available for clinical use for this type of AMD and several others under investigation, but the most important thing when it comes to treating this disease may be early detection .
If a patient “presents this disease in the early stages, we detect it in time and apply prompt treatment, we can avoid progressing to the irreversible loss of vision that this problem usually causes.” We can stop the disease and, in addition, achieve very positive visible results, in such a way that the person can manage his daily life quite independently, something that would not happen if the treatment was applied late. “In the latter case, visual retrieval is much more limited.
Therefore, from the point of view of ophthalmologists and retinologists, “early diagnosis is essential and it would be very interesting to run health campaigns that educate people to enable them to recognize the symptoms that can cause this disease and seek immediate treatment.” Can be taken.” Our consultation.
The treatment of wet macular degeneration has gone through several phases to date. “The current one – the doctor explains – involves injections of specific drugs that will close the enlarged capillaries in the area and release blood or fluid into the retina as the swelling also causes injury. All of these drugs last ten or fifteen It has been applied regularly on a monthly basis over the years because it is a long-term treatment. As soon as it is applied, the patient is monitored, with the treatment adjusted according to the needs of the eye at all times. “Treatment individualized and, on some occasions, require more frequent injections and on others less.”
The most innovative thing is to have “more effective” drugs with more time between treatments. If earlier about eight injections were required a year, with these types of medicines we can reduce them to three or four, depending on the disease. This is a very important development as the frequency of visits for consultation and injections will be reduced. Thus, we significantly improve the quality of life of patients and the family members who care for them.”
Oftalvist Group is participating at the national level in a large number of clinical trials with new medicines, which has the privilege of being the most advanced treatment on the market. “Our patients benefit from advances in science, which means disease control and a better quality of life for them.”
The biggest advancement in these studies is gene therapy. “This is hope for the treatment of patients who have not been able to access any drugs so far because they are not effective. It is being developed for forms of disease for which we had no possibility of treating. It involves the transfer of genes into a patient’s cells to cure that disease. “This type of therapy was unimaginable until now and is a safer, more controllable procedure and a revolution in the management of this disease.”
In addition to getting periodic checkups from a specialist, “it is very important that we do vision tests ourselves, which we can do at home, checking the vision of each eye separately to ensure that the vision of one eye is Do not compensate for the deficiency of the other. When there is a problem with the macula, a spot appears in the center of vision. This will be a central spot that covers up what we are seeing. Along with distortion of objects This is the main symptom, as the patient begins to see straight, curved lines. If this happens, it is a reason for immediate consultation. With timely treatment we can prevent this disease.
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