Medical & Surgical Ophthalmology

Factors predisposing to AMD

Several ophthalmological research studies have identified different factors that predispose to AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration). This degenerative disease of the central area of the retina, the macula, is the most frequent cause of irreversible and severe vision loss in patients over 60 years of age in developed countries, which is why it is the most frequent cause of irreversible and severe vision loss in patients over 60 years of age in developed countries.

Age

Age is the main triggering factor for AMD. After the age of 50, the macula ages and causes a loss of central vision. This leads to difficulty in performing activities of daily living such as reading, watching television or driving.

Prevention: undergo regular eye examinations starting at age 50.

Genetic predisposition

Family history is one of the predisposing factors for AMD, so it is important to know whether the disease may have been inherited from the father or mother.

Prevention: undergo periodic eye examinations and macula testing for genetic evaluation of predisposition to age-related macular degeneration. Genetic testing can be useful to individualize treatments for AMD, because there are genes that condition the response to treatments.

Solar radiation

Although it has not been shown to be a determining factor, prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays – especially ultraviolet (UV) radiation – without proper protective measures could be a contributing factor in chronic processes that can progress to AMD.

Prevention: avoid the hours of maximum solar radiation, use protective glasses or wide-brimmed hats.

Smoking

Smoking increases the risk of retinal damage and, in smokers, it is the main environmental factor associated with the development of advanced AMD. In smokers, in addition, AMD appears at an earlier age. Several studies have shown this to be true, concluding that the risk increases with the amount of tobacco consumed. This increase in the pathology has also been associated with passive smoking.

Prevention: Quitting smoking or reducing tobacco use or exposure to cigarette smoke.

Diet

Numerous studies highlight the importance of dietary habits in preventing the progression of AMD. A diet rich in lutein, the visual pigment, would reduce the risk of neovascular AMD by 40%6. An increased risk of disease progression has also been reported in people whose diet is based on the consumption of animal fats, as opposed to the protective effect of a diet rich in fish.

Prevention: Diets rich in lutein (spinach, lettuce, chard, endive, celery, avocado, cabbage, watercress, green beans, pumpkin, orange, tangerine, corn, peach, carrot, melon and mango) and nutritional supplements of antioxidants (beta-carotene, vitamins A, C and E) and minerals (zinc and copper).

Active clinical trials

Dry eye

Duration: 6 weeks
Treatment: drops

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