Definition, causes and course of disease
Damage to the retinal tissue in the area of the macula ("yellow spot") is no less dangerous than glaucoma. The round spot is about five millimeters in size, contains the most important sensory cells of the eye and allows the color and sharpness. In age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the sensory cells are gradually degraded at the sharpest point of vision. The first symptoms of AMD are the loss of visual acuity, first reading. In many people affected, a black spot appears in the middle of the field of vision, which is getting bigger and bigger. Also typical: straight lines appear bent, for example a window frame. Most of the time the natural aging process takes place, which is why older people are especially affected. Special risk factors are smoking, diabetes and hypertension.
Doctors distinguish two types of AMD, the dry and the wet form. For the wet form, there are new drugs that inhibit the growth of blood vessels. Because they sprout in the course of the disease under the retina and tend to bleeding. The dry form of trying to keep doctors with high-dose vitamin cocktails in check.
Prevention and self-help
To have healthy eyes for as long as possible, you should often eat green leafy vegetables. It contains a lot of lutein. This dye is stored in the macula and acts as a radical scavenger. Thus, the aging process in the eye can be significantly slowed down. Vitamins C, E and A are good protection for the eye. Especially in combination with omega-3 fatty acids, which also neutralize free radicals. In addition, one should protect his eyes from harmful UV rays. A good pair of sunglasses is especially important for stays in high mountains, as the radiation at high altitude is particularly intense.
Just as too long sunbathing causes the skin to age prematurely, strong sunlight increases the aging process of the eyes. It is also important that you go regularly to early detection examinations at the specialist. Everyone over the age of 40 should have their intraocular pressure measured once a year. In case of abnormalities, the expert will perform further examinations, such as visual field measurement and retina tomography.