The retina is a layer of nervous tissue that lines the back of the eye, whose function is to capture images and then send them to the brain. Light signals are captured in the retina by a special type of nervous cells called photoreceptors.
The central area of the retina, called macula, is functionally the most important. The macula provides clarity of vision and is used for reading and discerning details in what we look at. This explains why diseases of the macula have an immediate negative impact upon vision.
The main retinal diseases
Retinal disease is known as retinopathy and presents different symptoms according to where the retina is affected. Diseases affecting the centre of the retina, called maculopathies, result in the loss of visual acuity, whereas diseases affecting the periphery of the retina usually affect the field of vision, resulting in a loss of lateral vision. SERI Lugano offers intravitreal injections as curative and conservative treatment for retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.
What is macular degeneration?
Senile maculopathy, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a retinal disease that affects the macula.
Although prevalent among people over 60, the disease exists also among young people, being associated, for instance, with extreme myopia, vascular disorders, or inflammatory diseases. There are also acquired forms of maculopathy that may develop after birth for several reasons, including trauma, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, or severe infections.
A thorough eye examination is crucial in order to provide the patient with an accurate diagnosis of the disease. It should take into account prior surgery and seek to maximise visual acuity also by improving metabolic and life-style factors.
How do you treat it?
Intravitreal injections take just a few minutes and require neither anaesthetic nor admission to hospital.
Macular degeneration can be treated with injections of Aflibercept, a new-generation molecule which can improve damaged vision or stop degeneration all together. This drug inhibits neovascularisation in the retina and the exudation of serum, thus blocking macular degeneration.