One of the most dangerous eye diseases is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In Germany, it is the most common cause of severe visual impairment, including loss of central visual acuity. In the later stage of this retinal disease, one can no longer read and no longer recognize faces. Not all factors are known that cause AMD to develop. But most certainly, nicotine significantly increases the risk.
Farewell to the blue haze
"Many people who smoke are unaware that the habit they enjoy endangers their eyesight - nicotine is poisonous to the eyes, and very dangerous, " says Professor Dr. Bernd Bertram, second chairman of the Professional Association of Ophthalmologists (BVA). Scientific studies show that smokers are at least twice as likely to develop AMD as they are non-smokers and, at worst, lose their sight. There is a lot you can do yourself to keep your eyesight into old age:
- quit smoking
- healthy eating
- Sunscreen for the eyes and
- Precautionary examinations at the ophthalmologist.
These examinations serve for the early detection of those particularly dangerous eye diseases, of which one notices something until one does not see many things anymore. In addition to the AMD also includes glaucoma (Green Star).
Early diagnosis - successful therapy
AMD occurs in two forms: 80 percent of patients suffer from dry AMD. Their central visual acuity gradually diminishes, but their sense of orientation is preserved. Depending on the stage, the ophthalmologist can favorably influence the course of this disease by recommending a specific combination of vitamins and minerals. Another effective therapy is not yet known. The rarer wet AMD is aggressive: The central visual acuity decreases rapidly, the patient can soon no longer read and no longer recognize faces. Diseased vessels have formed under the macula, destroying the central visual cells. Early detection has fateful meaning. In addition to the previous laser therapies, new treatment options have been available since 2005. By injecting drugs that inhibit vascular growth, vision loss can be significantly slowed, stopped, or sometimes partially reversed. The deciding factor is the right time. Modern diagnostics enables the ophthalmologist to determine it without any doubt and to precisely determine the treatment intervals.