Prof. Dr. Ali Hakan Durukan gave information about the symptoms of macular degeneration, known as yellow spot disease among the people, diagnosis and treatment methods and prevention methods.
“Macular degeneration is one of the most important causes of irreversible vision loss all over the world. Unchangeable risk factors such as age and genetics play an important role in the emergence and course of the disease. However, minor changes in risk factors such as diet. can give very effective results in protecting our eyes against macular degeneration.
Age-related macular degeneration is a degenerative disease that affects individuals aged 55 and above, occurs due to age-related changes in the macular area of the eye, and causes progressive reduction and deterioration in the central vision of patients depending on the stage of the disease. Although it is observed more frequently after the age of 55, it can be detected at an earlier age. The most obvious complaint center in this disease is the deterioration of vision. “Some of the patients do not have any complaints and the disease is detected incidentally during a routine eye examination,” he said.
‘THE PATIENT CANNOT SEE THE DETAILS’
Prof. Dr. Stating that most of the patients do not realize that they have macular degeneration until their central vision deteriorates, Durukan said, “When the patient looks at an object or a person near or far away, he cannot see the fine details of this object or person, he cannot recognize the object or person. Other complaints include seeing dark spots, seeing colors pale, adaptation difficulties in transitioning from dark to light, loss of words or letters while reading, difficulty in reading small font letters and curvature in straight lines, brokenness, among other complaints. “The color and size of the objects appear different between the eyes in those with a disease in one eye. In the advanced stages of the disease, serious vision loss may develop so that the patient cannot meet his own needs.”
HOW IS THE DISEASE DIAGNOSED?
Noting that the diagnosis of yellow spot disease is made by clinical examination and examination methods, Durukan said, “In the examination of the macular area, the ophthalmologist examines this area using some special lenses. Before this procedure, the patient’s pupil may need to be dilated with drops. A squared paper test called ‘Amsler Grid’ is applied. The paper allows the patient to notice and mark areas in the field of vision that are blurred or not seen.Angiography is another diagnostic method.In this examination, some dyes called ‘fluorescein’ or ‘indocyanine’ are injected through the veins in the arm.
The dyes move through the blood vessels and reach the eye vessels. While moving within the eye veins, the veins are displayed with special cameras. Thus, abnormal vessels under the retina and leakage associated with them are displayed. Nowadays, the retina and underlying abnormal vasculature can be detected with optical coherence tomography angiography examination, so that no injection is required. Another and very important diagnostic method is optical coherence tomography. Here, just like body tomography, the retina can be viewed in thin sections and detailed examination of the retina and macula can be made. “
‘IF IT IS NOT TREATED, IT MAY CAUSE SERIOUS VISUAL LOSSES’
Stating that there are two types of yellow spot disease, wet and dry, Durukan continued his words as follows:
“It is a progressive disease in both types. For this reason, the risk of developing serious vision loss over the years in patients without treatment is high. Approximately 10-15 percent of those diagnosed with dry type can turn the disease into wet type. This is very important. Dry type patients have sudden central vision. In case of a decrease, it is very important to consult ophthalmologists quickly. There is no place for dry type surgical treatment in yellow spot disease Wet type intraocular drug injections are the first-line treatment method Vitrectomy surgery is performed in patients with severe subretinal bleeding despite drug injections or without any treatment. In this surgery, bleeding under the retina is removed from the eye by various methods. “
MEASURES THAT CAN BE TAKEN AGAINST THE DISEASE
Regarding personal precautions to be taken against yellow spot disease, Durukan said, “It is not possible to change the age or family history, which are among the risk factors of macular degeneration. However, changes in life style may be useful in protecting our eyes against macular degeneration. Personal precautions to be taken against macular degeneration. To quit smoking.Reaching and maintaining ideal body weight. Keeping blood pressure at normal levels. Using ultra violet (UV) and blue light filtering glasses. Wearing a visor hat to protect from direct sunlight, especially in summer. to have an eye examination. To consume fresh vegetables and fruits. To reduce saturated fat in the diet. Exercise regularly, “he said.