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.
What problems does it cause?
One of the main signs of the disease is usually distorted vision of objects and lines, in which straight lines start to appear distorted or wavy. Other symptoms include dark, fixed areas near or in the centre of vision (known as scotomas), and diminished or changed perception of colour and light contrast.
How do you treat it?
Macular degeneration can be delayed by adopting individualised treatment aimed at controlling risk factors such as arterial hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia. Research has also uncovered important links to genetic predisposition, ageing, life-styles and diet.
Numerous drugs have been developed and tested in recent years that appear very promising.
The retina may in some instances be treated with Argon laser, a beam of light generated by a noble gas (argon) that acts upon certain areas of the retinal tissue by photocoagulation. In other cases, surgery can be recommended.
Under the scientific direction of its founder Dr Roberto Pinelli, the Switzerland Eye Research Institute of Lugano offers support and treatment for age-related macular degeneration.