Unfortunately, eye diseases in the elderly are still a common and growing problem. This is due to the weakening ability of the body’s cells to self-regeneration and despite the development of medicine, there are still no pharmaceuticals that would be able to prevent the development of eye diseases. On the contrary, it is estimated that the population of visually impaired people will increase by about 70% over the next few years. For many years, cataract has been the most common eyeball disorder, accounting for about 48% of the causes of blindness. Immediately afterwards: glaucoma and macular degeneration. All these diseases require detailed diagnostics and immediate treatment, because as a result of their development there is an irreversible loss of sight. One of the most popular ophthalmic procedures in recent years is surgical cataract removal.
Pathomechanism of cataract and macular degeneration
A cataract is a condition affecting the lens that consists in its turbidity and indirectly affects the functioning of the retina, which is then devoid of sunlight. The result is a very blurred image. Yellow spot degeneration, on the other hand, is a disease directly affecting the central area of the retina, where the yellow spot is located, which is the site of the highest density of photosensitive suppositories responsible for color vision. The exact causes of these diseases are not yet fully known, although the disease has been recorded for a very long time. In case of macular degeneration (AMD), a significant influence of genetic factors causing mutation within genes encoding proteins involved in the immune response has been demonstrated. Their abnormal functioning leads to an inflammatory reaction in the area of the macula lutea.
Symptoms and treatment of cataract and macular degeneration
The symptoms of eye diseases are often very similar and only a thorough diagnosis in the ophthalmology office is able to provide the patient with detailed information. The most common symptoms include: problems with reading, blurred images, disturbances in perceiving the contours of objects and in recognizing the face. No alarming symptoms can be ignored and you should go to the ophthalmologist immediately. In case of early detection of the disease there is a chance for pharmacological slowdown of its development. In the serious stage of cataract, a procedure involving surgical replacement of the lens of the eye with an artificial one is carried out. Treatment of macular degeneration, in addition to drugs improving blood circulation in the eyeball, also involves laser removal of degenerative blood vessels.