From the The Lancet:
Age-related macular degeneration is a major cause of blindness worldwide. With ageing populations in many countries, more than 20% might have the disorder.
Advanced age-related macular degeneration is associated with progressive visual impairment. It includes two subtypes:
- neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet)
- geographic atrophy (late dry) macular degeneration
What are the risk factors for macular degeneration?
Major risk factors include:
- cigarette smoking
- nutritional factors
- cardiovascular diseases
- genetic markers, including genes regulating complement, lipid, angiogenic, and extracellular matrix pathways
How to diagnose macular degeneration?
Accurate diagnosis combines clinical examination and investigations including:
- retinal photography
- optical coherence tomography
What is the treatment for macular degeneration?
Dietary anti-oxidant supplementation slows progression of the disease. Taking lutein 10 mg po daily may help (see the DW video below).
Treatment for neovascular age-related (wet) macular degeneration includes intraocular injections of anti-VEGF agents. The two commonly used anti-VEGF therapies, ranibizumab and bevacizumab, have similar efficacy.
Future treatments include inhibition of other angiogenic factors, and regenerative and topical therapies.
Saving Eyesight | In Good Shape - DW Interview. Dr. Manfred Tetz talks about both sudden and creeping loss of vision. The eye specialist reviews the warning signs for a retinal detachment or a retinal vein occlusion and what can be done about them.
Age-related macular degeneration. The Lancet, Volume 379, Issue 9827, Pages 1728 - 1738, 5 May 2012.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.