Age-related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a chronic, progressive condition, the effects of which are irreversible. In the United States of America (USA), an estimated 2,000,000 people have an advanced form of AMD and another 8,000,000 have at least some milder form [2,6]. The exact causes behind the development of the condition are not known, however, it is considered that the most important contributing factor is age, with most cases recorded in the elderly, while it is rarely found in people under 50 years old. Other risk factors are smoking (with smokers and ex-smokers having a 4.5 and 1.5 times increased risk of developing wet type respectively compared to non-smokers) [5], diet, excessive exposure to sunlight, light eye color, etc.
AMD it is divided into two types, dry and wet age-related degeneration. The first is found in the majority of cases (80% – 85% of all cases) [2,10,13] with the characteristic presence of drusen, while the second is rarer (15% – 20%) [2,10,13] and can have a significant and rapid effect on vision. Evidently, a percentage of 10% – 15% of dry forms develop into wet ones[2].
It is estimated that approximately 196,000,000 people in 2020 had age related macular degeneration while this figure is expected to jump to 288,000,000 by 2040 due to the increase in life expectancy and lifestyle and diet habits [1,2,5,7]. Therefore, as AMD is an irreversible pathology, prevention and regular monitoring are important protective measures. In any case of partial vision loss, the appropriate referral to a low vision specialist contributes significantly to ensuring the best possible support for the person in their daily life.

1. Ruan, Y.; Jiang, S.; Gericke, A. Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Role of Oxidative Stress and Blood Vessels. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 1296. 2. Catherine J. Thomas, Rukhsana G. Mirza, Manjot K. Gill, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Medical Clinics of North America,Volume 105, Issue 3,2021,Pages 473-491,ISSN 0025-7125, ISBN 9780323813099, 3. Singh N, Srinivasan S, Muralidharan V, Roy R, V J, Raman R. Prevention of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). 2017 Nov-Dec;6(6):520-526. doi: 10.22608/APO.2017416. PMID: 29204995. 4. Heesterbeek TJ, Lores-Motta L, Hoyng CB, Lechanteur YTE & den Hollander AI. Risk factors for progression of age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2020; 40: 140–170. 5. Pugazhendhi, A.; Hubbell, M.; Jairam, P.; Ambati, B. Neovascular Macular Degeneration: A Review of Etiology, Risk Factors, and Recent Advances in Research and Therapy. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 1170. 6. Al-Zamil WM, Yassin SA. Recent developments in age-related macular degeneration: a review. Clin Interv Aging. 2017 Aug 22;12:1313-1330. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S143508. PMID: 28860733; PMCID: PMC5573066. 7. Jonas JB, Cheung CMG, Panda-Jonas S. Updates on the Epidemiology of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). 2017 Nov-Dec;6(6):493-497. doi: 10.22608/APO.2017251. Epub 2017 Sep 14. PMID: 28906084. 8. GBD 2019 Blindness and Vision Impairment Collaborators; Vision Loss Expert Group of the Global Burden of Disease Study. Causes of blindness and vision impairment in 2020 and trends over 30 years, and prevalence of avoidable blindness in relation to VISION 2020: the Right to Sight: an analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet Glob Health. 2021 Feb;9(2):e144-e160. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(20)30489-7. Epub 2020 Dec 1. Erratum in: Lancet Glob Health. 2021 Apr;9(4):e408. PMID: 33275949; PMCID: PMC7820391. 9. Romanian Journal of Ophthalmology, Volume 59, Issue 2, April-June 2015. pp:74-77. 10. Modenese, A., Gobba, F. Macular degeneration and occupational risk factors: a systematic review. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 92, 1–11 (2019). 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Timothy L. Jackson (επιστημονική επιμέλεια), Ευαγγελία Παπαβασιλείου, Νικόλαος Γεωργακαράκος (επιμέλεια ελληνικής έκδοσης), ΕΓΧΕΙΡΙΔΙΟ ΟΦΘΑΛΜΟΛΟΓΙΑΣ MOORFIELDS, UNIVERSITY STUDIO PRESS, 2019, ISBN: 978-960-12-2457-2, 16. Antony Pane, Peter Simcock, ΠΡΑΚΤΙΚΗ ΟΦΘΑΛΜΟΛΟΓΙΑ – ΟΔΗΓΟΣ ΕΠΙΒΙΩΣΗΣ ΓΙΑ ΙΑΤΡΟΥΣ ΚΑΙ ΟΠΤΟΜΕΤΡΕΣ, ΕΚΔΟΣΕΙΣ GOTSIS, Σεπτέμβριος 2011, ISBN: 978-960-9427-10-4. 17. DAVID J. SPALTON, ROGER A. HITCHINGS, PAUL A. HUNTER & JAMES C H TAN (associate editor),Σωτήρης Π. Γαρταγάνης (επιμέλεια ελληνικής έκδοσης) ΑΤΛΑΣ ΚΛΙΝΙΚΗΣ ΟΦΘΑΛΜΟΛΟΓΙΑΣ ΤΡΙΤΗ ΕΚΔΟΣΗ, ΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΟΝΙΚΕΣ ΕΚΔΟΣΕΙΣ ΠΑΡΙΣΙΑΝΟΥ, 2009, ISBN: 978-960-394-594-9. 18. Christopher J. Rapuano, Adam T. Gerstenblith, Michael P Rabinowitz, Behin I. Barahimi, Mark A. Friedberg, Christopher M. Fecarotta, ΕΓΧΕΙΡΙΔΙΟ ΟΦΘΑΛΜΟΥ WILLS 6η έκδοση, ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΑΡΑΣ ΙΑΤΡΙΚΕΣ ΕΚΔΟΣΕΙΣ, 2016, ISBN: 978 – 960 – 583 – 086 – 1. 19. ΜΕΛΗ ΔΕΠ Α’ ΟΦΘΑΛΜΟΛΟΓΙΚΗΣ ΚΛΙΝΙΚΗΣ ΕΚΠΑ, οφθαλμολογία, εκδόσεις Π.Χ. ΠΑΣΧΑΛΙΔΗΣ, ΚΥΠΡΟΣ 2010,Σελ. 53-65, ISBN: 978-960-489-075-0

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