The macula area behind the eye allows us to focus on the places we look at, that is, to read and follow things. Yellow spot disease, also known as macular degeneration, occurs in this area and can lead to vision loss due to aging and various environmental factors. Uz. From Memorial Ankara Hospital Eye Department. Dr. Neslihan Astam gave information about yellow spot disease and treatment methods.
Aging increases the risk of yellow spot disease
There are many different diseases of the macular area called yellow spot in the eye. Yellow spot disease, also called macular degeneration, is among the disorders seen in the retinal layer of the eye. In age-related macular degeneration, retinal cells that allow the eye to see are damaged due to aging. While this damage spreads over the years and increases over time, it can usually occur in the 50s and very rarely in the 40s.
Smoking and excessive sunlight exposure cause the disease
Among the causes of yellow spot disease other than aging are age-related malnutrition of the macular region, heart diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, smoking, genetic predisposition and exposure to excessive sunlight.
Vision may drop suddenly
There are two types of the disease called dry and wet. While only cell damage occurs in the dry type, vision loss occurs slower and less. However, when it turns to wet type, the vision rate is very serious and decreases suddenly. In such a case, the bleeding, fluid accumulation and edema that occur with the formation of new vessels in the yellow spot area leave a lot of permanent damage to the nerve cells in that area. While 90 percent of yellow spot disease is dry type, 10 percent of them can turn into wet type. The type of lesions, the person's systemic risk factors, and the use of drugs such as blood thinners are among the factors that increase the risk of conversion to wet type at a rate of 10 percent.
The disease usually affects both eyes.
The most important symptom of yellow spot disease is decreased vision. This disease usually affects both eyes. However, while the clinical course is more severe in one eye, the other eye may be lighter. The loss of vision that does not start at an equal dose in both eyes provides the advantage of saving at least one eye. However, this situation also turns into a disadvantage as it causes late diagnosis.
Does the line you look at while reading a book become hollow and crooked?
Another symptom of yellow spot disease is that a flat wall edge is seen crooked, or when reading a book, the texts on the page are pitted or bent. When viewed with two eyes, this curvature is not very noticeable, it usually occurs when viewed with one eye. While oblique vision is more in wet type, vision level does not increase even with glasses in dry type. Yellow spot disease may be suspected if there is a loss of vision that the glasses cannot correct.
The back of the eye needs to be examined
In order to diagnose the disease, firstly, a visual examination is performed for each patient. The patient is placed on the biomicroscope and both the front and back of the eye are examined. In this examination, symptoms that may suggest dry or wet type are determined by looking at the macular region. Then, the patient is performed Optical Cohorans Tomography (OCT) and cross-sectional histological microscopic examination of the posterior macular region of the eye is performed, and a film called Fundus Fluorescence (FFA) is performed by administering medication from the arm vein. With this film, leaky vessels, new vessel formation, edema and fluid leaks are detected. There is no treatment that completely eliminates this disease. Dry-type treatments are within the scope of supportive treatments, that is, to slow down the loss of cells and degeneration in the patient. However, the most important part of the treatment is to follow whether the dry type will turn into a wet type and to make an early diagnosis. So early diagnosis is of great importance in treatment.
Nerve cell damage is minimized with treatment
Noticing the wet type at the beginning ensures early administration of anti VEGF drugs applied in the eye, preventing new vessel formation and at the same time reducing fluid leakage and edema. With this treatment, it is aimed to minimize nerve cell damage and restore vision loss.
Many diseases can be revealed by retinal examination
It is usually late for the diagnosis of yellow spot disease. Although there are no complaints to prevent this, routine eye checks should not be neglected. It should not be forgotten that retinal examination also reflects the health of our body. Retinal examination, in which diseases such as diabetes and heart that can cause permanent damage to the eye, appear as a check-up.