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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a chronic progressive disease characterized by damage to the central retinal area – the macula, as well as the capillaries of the choroid and pigment epithelium.
Macula (yellow spot) is the central region of the retina. Its diameter is about 5 mm, and it consists of highly sensitive cone cells, the number of which in this zone reaches 7 million.
It is this zone that gives the ability to see objects, their shape, color. The rest of the retina perceives light and shadow. In the center of the macula there is a depression – central fovea of about 1.5 mm.
Age-related macular degeneration is one of the causes of irreversible central vision loss in people over 55-60 years old.
In Russia, the incidence of AMD is 15 per 1000 population.
Prolonged asymptomatic course of AMD, late seeking medical help, and sometimes untimely diagnosis of the disease leads to the loss of professional functions and performance. As a result, special attention should be paid to improving the quality of timely detection of early symptoms of AMD in order to avoid low vision and subsequent visual disability.
RISK FACTORS OF AGE MACULAR DEGENERATION.
Domestic and foreign ophthalmologists consider AMD as a multifactorial disease, in which the following should be regarded as the leading risk factors:
• Heredity. If there are patients with AMD among direct relatives, then the risk of getting the disease increases.
• Age. The average age of AMD patients is 55 — 80 years old, but according to observation, the number of patients among persons under retirement age is steadily growing.
• Smoking. Leads to damage to the vessels that feed the retina. This increases the risk of its wasting and degeneration. In addition, smoking can lead to the appearance and accumulation of toxic substances that poison light-sensitive cells.
• Gender. Women aged 60 and older are prone to age-related macular lesions 2 times more often than men.
• Racial affiliation. AMD is more common in Caucasians. People with fair skin and blue irises are more prone to AMD.
• Cardiovascular diseases. (arterial hypertension, cerebral atherosclerosis)
The following factors have a clear relationship with the development of AMD:
• Atherosclerotic lesions of the arteries;
• diabetes mellitus;
• violation of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism;
• increased insolation.
This publication has been prepared with the support of the Presidential Grants Fund