The most common cause of a retinopathy is diabetes, a disease caused by the inability of the organism to process sugars correctly. High blood sugar damages blood vessels, especially the small ones, such as the capillaries of the retina. Other causes of retinopathies can be hypertension or high level of cholesterol. The majority of systemic pathologies produces symptoms in the retina. For this reason many times the diagnosis of systemic diseases is made by the ophthalmologist by a dilated eye examination. In the past it was possible to diagnose a retinopathy just in case the disease was at advanced stages, while nowadays we can diagnose it, and therefore begin to treat it properly, since the early stages, thanks to sophisticated exams such as Fluorescein angiography (FAG) and Optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Age-related macular degeneration is a medical condition that affects the central area of the retina, called macula. Generally this disease affects oldpeople, and among them a high percentage are women. These macular degenerations can develop slowly (dry or nonexudative forms) or very quickly (wet or exudative forms). There are particular effective medicines, especially to treat wet forms, that are directly injected in the eye.
There are also forms of degeneration that affect young people, usually due to myopia or to genetic reasons.
The treatment for retinopathies obviously depends on the reason that causes them, and usually it has to be related to the treatment for the systemic disease that causes them.
Only an accurate evaluation made by a medical retina specialist can lead to the right treatment.
In this kind of disease, especially at early stages, the symptomatology is not so relevant and usually it is not significant in order to understand the seriousness of the patient’s condition.
Early diagnosis is the best solution to avoid losses of visual acuity.