The Turkish Ophthalmology Association pointed out that the increase in Macrovision surgery performed for the treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration eye disease, popularly known as "Yellow Spot Disease", has reached a worrying point.
Prof. Dr. Zeliha Yazar warned that this disease, which is seen especially in people over the age of 65 and causes permanent vision loss, does not have a treatment such as 'macrovision' and that patients are given empty hope with commercial concerns.
Patients are given vain hope
Turkish Ophthalmology Association pointed out that there has recently been an alarming increase in Macro-vision surgeries, which are popularly known as "Yellow Spot Disease", which is more common in people over the age of 65 and claimed to be performed for the treatment of the disease up to permanent blindness. was found. Turkish Ophthalmology Association Chairman of the Turkish Ophthalmology Competency Board (TOYK) Prof. Dr. Zeliha Yazar says, “Yellow Spot Disease is a condition that causes a decrease in central vision and today there is no treatment to reverse the process. Surgical method, marketed as macrovision treatment, is an application that aims to make better use of the existing vision by placing the image magnifying lenses into the eye surgically. These practices have increased due to commercial concerns. "While these surgeries give empty hope to most patients, they have the possibility of causing more permanent damage, let alone treatment."
Miniature telescope surgery on the eye
The yellow spot is the dark yellow circular region of the retina, the nerve layer of the eye, responsible for sharp vision, with a diameter of 5 millimeters. The rays coming from the objects we are looking at fall on this area. The region has hereditary, infectious or age-related diseases. When there is an irreversible disease in the region, cells that have remained intact in this area can be used better by enlarging the image of the objects, or the image can be reduced to intact retinal areas outside the diseased area. This practice is traditionally performed by ophthalmologists with high-prescription glasses or miniature telescopes that can be mounted on glasses. In the last 10 years, the idea of surgically placing these telescopes or lenses containing magnifying fields into the eye has begun to be applied. Although it sounds good as an idea, there are many problems and unanswered questions in practice. One of the telescopic lenses made for this purpose received the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration. Studies conducted with these lenses are short-term, controlled and non-standardized studies on a small number of patients. Most had near vision improvement.
The desperation of the patients cannot be used for commercial purposes
Referring to the fact that there is no treatment of the current disease, Prof. Dr. The author continued as follows.
“Handheld magnifiers, telescopic glasses, handheld telescopes can be considered among the tools or devices that will help those with low vision. Even though intraocular telescopic implants and special magnifying intraocular lenses have been developed in recent years, reliable and positive results have not been obtained in studies where they have been tested yet. Of course, there is a group of patients where this method can be useful. However, presenting this surgical method as an accepted treatment method in yellow spot disease is incompatible with medical ethics. Moreover, some of our members have warned that the patient is being made hyperopic by surgery under the name of macrovision and trying to get a magnifying effect with the help of glasses. This is the use of the patient's helplessness for financial gain and it is unacceptable. "
Macrovision surgery can increase damage
Prof. Dr. Zeliha Yazar explained that the use of telescopic intraocular lenses does not provide any benefit to patients with yellow spot as well as "Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)" patients, and that their hopes are exploited for financial benefits:
“By enlarging the image in the center with these lenses, it causes the already narrow visual field to narrow even more. Moreover, since the clear crystalline lenses of RP patients, many of whom are at a young age, are removed, their near vision deteriorates. Patients should prefer telescopic glasses instead of telescopic intraocular lenses. Because Macrovision surgery is irreversible. Patients have to continue to live with the lenses in their eyes. With the existing telescopic lenses, the problems of visual field narrowing, glare, ghost reflexes and binocularity have not been solved yet; cost-benefit and effectiveness issues have not yet been evaluated. " Qualified clinical studies to be conducted under the guidance of "Good Clinical Practices Guide" are needed on this subject.