Degeneration of the retina: causes, treatment

Degeneration of the retina lies in the dystrophic changes and the gradual death of its cells, which is the reason for the gradual decrease in vision.

These changes can be hereditary, but they can be acquired.

Often, retinal dystrophy is one of the first symptoms of certain systemic diseases, including endocrine pathologies, metabolic disorders, mitochondrial diseases.

Let's consider some of them.

Causes of degeneration of the retina

Age-related macular degeneration is the first and the main cause of painless and gradual, bilateral deterioration of vision, which is characteristic of the elderly. Usually in this case, the deposition of certain substances occurs in the area of ​​the macula under the retina, which leads to the appearance of foci of detachment and atrophy of the pigment epithelium. As a result, the function of photoreceptors is disrupted, which unambiguously leads to a deterioration in vision. This is manifested in a sharp decrease in visual acuity, loss of vision and fog in front of the eyes. Until now, there have not been developed methods that are able to stop the development of macular degeneration that occurs with age.

Despite the active release of micronutrient kits (zinc, copper, selenium) and vitamins (A, C, E), reliable data on their effectiveness are lacking. There is another form of age-related degeneration, which occurs less frequently. It is caused by the proliferation of vessels under the retina in the area of ​​the yellow spot, which lifts the retina, causing visual distortion and the same blurring of vision. To cure this pathology, laser coagulation is used, but relapse can not be avoided.

Such a variety of diseases of the retina, as central serous choriopathy affects mainly men aged from twenty to fifty years. The disease is characterized by the accumulation of vascular effusion under the retina, which provokes the small areas of the retinal detachment in small quantities, and, of course, vision becomes worse, and if a yellow spot is involved in the process, visual distortions are inevitable. Sometimes laser coagulation can be used effectively in such a state.

Diabetic retinopathy, in turn, is a complication of diabetes mellitus and is characterized by the damage of small vessels that feed the retina. Here the most correct recommendation is the proper diabetic life regimen, control of sugar and blood pressure. Preventive effects against the development of diabetic retinal lesions can be panretinal laser coagulation.

There is also hereditary dystrophies of the retina, which can give information about themselves from the first months of life, but can develop rather slowly. At the same time complaints begin to worsen twilight vision and photophobia, there is a possibility of outbreaks before the eyes. In some cases, objects appear distorted, which leads to the fact that patients can not move freely on the stairs, which is more pronounced in poor lighting, and also when crossing the street.

To pigmentary dystrophy carry a group of hereditary dystrophies that occur more often than others. Here there is an uneven deposition of pigment at the periphery of the retina, the so-called "bone bodies". In this case both eyes are affected. Over time, the number of "bony bodies" grows until they merge, the foci spreads through the retina, approaching the center of the fundus. The disease can also develop in childhood, although the first symptoms can manifest only in the second half of life, in the form, usually, of a twilight vision disorder, which is popularly called "night blindness" when a person is poorly oriented in poor lighting and twilight. With the progression of the disease, the severity and narrowing of the field of vision gradually decrease, and this degradation ends at the age of forty-sixty years with blindness. To treat this disease have not yet learned, but trying to save the situation, doctors prescribe funds to improve nutrition and blood supply to the retina and optic nerve.

Treatment of retinal dystrophy

One of the methods of treatment with a wet form of age-related macular degeneration is photodynamic therapy. With dry age degeneration of the retina, this method is not applied.

This treatment consists in the introduction of the photosensitive drug verteporfin (Vizadine) into the bloodstream, which accumulates in the affected vessels under the macula. Next, laser beams that activate the drug are directed to the eye, which favor the formation of blood clots that block damaged blood vessels.