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Retinal diseases

The retina is the light-sensitive layer on the rear inner side of the eye, hence a very important part of our eye.

Its function is like that of a film in a camera. The retina contains more than 130 million light-sensitive cells (rods and cones) that transform the incident light - when it has passed through cornea, lens and the vitreous body - into electric impulses (nerve signals) thus transmitting it via the visual nerve to the brain. The retina is a decisive link in the chain of vision. The macula - the spot of the sharpest vision, the size of only a few square millimetres - sits in the centre of the retina. Without this small spot it would be impossible to read or recognize colours or faces.

Even slight damages of the retina or the macula can have serious consequences und pose a significant risk to our eye sight. Such an eventuality would call for immediate action. 

Visual disturbances: Do I suffer from a retinal disease?

A retinal disease manifests itself through a change of the eyesight: Small areas appear blurred and frequently in the whole visual field singular spots disappear and seem blank. Alarm should go off as soon as you see flashes of light, „floaters” or a “shower of floaters”. That is an indication for a pathological change in the eye. In any case you should immediately see an ophthalmologist. 

There are manifold causes of a retinal disease: inflammatory, degenerative or dystrophic retinal diseases, diseases of the blood vessels or even tumours.

The most frequent reason for a deterioration of eyesight after the age of 65 is an age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease that for years we are able to treat successfully. 

One of the most frequent retinal diseases: The age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

The age-related macular degeneration, in short AMD, is a damage of the macula, the small spot in the centre of our retina. It is the place of our sharpest vision and therefore damage is extremely dangerous. The so-called macular degeneration slowly destroys the macula through a circulatory disorder of the retina and insufficient nutrient supply.

The innate type affects younger people and the age-related type appears later in life. For persons older than 65 years, AMD is the most frequent cause for a deterioration of the eye-sight.AMD does not lead to complete blindness since even with the destruction of the macula the remaining retina can be in a normal and functioning state.

In an advanced state of AMD the eye can only perceive movement and the spatial arrangement of objects. Reading or recognising faces is not possible any more.

There are two types: dry (non-exudative) and exudative macular degeneration. The dry form is a very slow deterioration of nerve cells of the macula. Its progress is very slow. With the exudative form additional new blood vessels of minor quality grow up behind the retina. The blood vessels can break easily thus leaking fluid or even haemorrhaging into the retina and eventually forming a retinal scar. The progress of the disease in most cases is significantly faster than with dry macular degeneration.

IVOM: Treatment of macular degeneration

With dry AMD treatment options are limited. The therapy is limited to slow down the progress of the disease with a nutrition rich in vitamins and/or dietary supplements.

For some years it is possible to treat exudative macular degeneration with the administration of medication in to the eyeball. Over a longer period of time medication is injected repeatedly directly into the vitreous body of the eye (intravitreal medication IVOM). The active substance can easily access the retina; side-effects in other organs are very rare. The injection is supposed to provoke a regression of the pathological vessels and a decrease of the retinal swelling. In many cases vision can be preserved and even improved.

For this treatment there are several medications available. Your Smile Eyes expert will advise you which medication is best for you. The deterioration of the eyesight in a certain number of patients cannot be stopped with intravitreal medication. In these cases it is possible to alter medication or - on a case-by-case basis - opt for surgery.

Most AMD patients can be successfully treated unfortunately not all of them. Generally speaking, this kind of therapy requires close follow-up examinations with highly specialised devices.

Costs for intravitreal medication are covered by most of the public health insurances; depending on the public health insurance approval procedures have to be applied for or patients have to cover part of their own cost. Any questions? We are happy to advise you.

The Smile Eyes plus in safety

  • Extensive preliminary examination and consultation exclusively by experiences ophthalmologists 
  • Highly qualified surgeons with year-long experience
  • Out-patient surgery with local anaesthesia and sedation 
  • Presence of an anaesthetist for monitoring the cardiovascular system
  • Modern artificial lenses in foldable material
  • Modern surgery units with up-to-date certified hygienic standards
  • Quality management according to ISO 9001
Any questions regarding retinal diseases?
Please call us:
+49 800 855 8000

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