The retina is a light-sensitive tissue located on the inner surface of the eye. It is related to different diseases, including retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD.
All these retinal diseases can cause the affected person to lose visual acuity. This causes severe impairment in the patient’s ability to perform daily activities and makes him or her more vulnerable to situations such as trauma and depression.
Causes of the main retinal diseases
According to specialists in ophthalmology, the causes of retinal diseases vary depending on the disease. On the one hand, the cause of retinal detachment can be diverse, although the most important due to its frequency is posterior vitreous detachment. This detachment breaks the retina and thus causes the liquid vitreous to pass through the retinal tear and occupy the subretinal space.
Diabetic retinopathy is a microangiopathy secondary to impaired glucose metabolism due to a lack of insulin or to the presence of factors that alter its correct functioning.
Finally, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is caused by a process of tissue aging that provokes metabolic alterations that induce atrophy, ischemia, overexpression of VEGF and, in some cases, the growth of neovessels.
Treatments for retinal diseases
Depending on the retinal disease, the treatment performed is one or the other. When retinal detachment occurs, treatment is always surgical. The patient should preferably be operated on, especially if the macula is still attached (ON).
Diabetic retinopathy should be treated from the patient’s integral systemic point of view with the aim of controlling glucose metabolism. Treatment should be aimed at combating macular edema and retinal ischemia. The therapeutic means used are laser photocoagulation and intravitreal pharmacological treatments to combat tissue ischemia, increased vascular permeability and inflammatory cell recruitment.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) manifests itself in two ways: dry and exudative. The dry form has no effective treatment to date, whereas the exudative form can be treated by intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF drugs to neutralize the overexpression of vascular endothelial growth factor and thus control the growth of subretinal neovessels.