Maculopathy is an ocular pathology characterized by the degeneration of the central retina and especially of the macula, a little area full of photoreceptors (light-sensible nerve cells). Light energy is then transformed into electrical stimuli that reach the brain through the optic nerve. If the macula is damaged, vision is seriously hindered.
Professor Paolo Vinciguerra, Supervisor of the Eye Clinic at Humanitas, has spoken about maculopathy, the importance of timely diagnoses and the ever-increasing selectivity of medications in an interview to Panorama.
Two Types Of Maculopathy
There are two types of maculopathy: dry age-related macular degeneration and wet age-related macular degeneration, both causing damages to the retina.
The dry one is caused by a gradual tissue atrophy. The exudative (wet) one is caused by new capillaries, that spill blood and serum on the retina and destroy the macula if they break.
The Importance Of A Timely Diagnosis
Early diagnoses are crucial for maculopathy. A useful diagnostic test is OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography). This kind of stratigraphy can show alterations in the layers of the retina, Professor Vinciguerra explains. Another useful instrument is the angio-OCT, that provides a three-dimensional reconstruction of the blood vessels in the retina, and it is not an invasive test.
Medications Against Maculopathy
Medications against the neovascular pathogenesis of maculopathy are becoming more and more selective, Prof. Vinciguerra explains. These medications, in fact, have radically evolved from non-specific medications to selective, durable medications.
Anti-VEGF medications, that inhibit vascular proliferation, show an ever-increasing effectiveness. They are becoming more selective and the time intervals between injections are getting longer, the professor says.