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Age-related macular degeneration, also known by its acronym 'AMD', is a degenerative disease of the macula that causes a progressive decrease in central vision. The macula is a small area located in the centre of the retina, the back layer of the eye that transforms light and images entering the eye into nerve signals that are sent to the brain. Currently, it is the most common cause of severe vision loss in the Western world. In Spain, it affects approximately 13% of people over 65 years of age. We spoke with Dr. Sònia Viver, an ophthalmologist from Barraquer, to resolve the main doubts about this pathology.

  • What is age-related macular degeneration?
  • What variants of AMD exist?
  • Why does this pathology occur? What factors influence its appearance?
  • What symptoms do you have?
  • How is this pathology diagnosed?
  • What treatments do we perform at Barraquer?
  • What actions can we take to prevent AMD?
  • Can diagnosed patients lead a completely normal life?

In episode Keys AMD #14 of our podcast “Descansa la Vista” titled “Keys to Understanding AMD”, we speak with Dr. Sònia Viver, an ophthalmologist at the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre, to resolve doubts about age-related macular degeneration and discuss the tests we perform to obtain a good diagnosis. She also tells us what treatments we offer at the centre for this pathology.

What variants of AMD exist?

There are two variants of DMAE and a third intermediate. The first is atrophic or dry AMD, which is the most common, representing 85% of cases. In this type, patients experience vision loss that lasts months or even years. On the other hand, there is wet or exudative AMD, which is considered a much more serious condition. It forms as vascular mesh that grows very quickly and causes the retina to degenerate in a matter of days or a few weeks.

What symptoms does it cause?

The symptoms primarily include burred central vision. Progressively, a very characteristic sign called “metamorphopsia” appears, where straight lines appear wavy. Many patients also have difficulty reading, as the letters become crowded. The latest symptom in this disease’s progression is the appearance of a central spot, which only allows peripheral vision.

What treatments do we offer patients?

First of all, it is essential to know that the available treatments do not cure the disease, they only control it. Currently, we have treatments for wet AMD, which fall under a category of drugs known as “antiangiogenic”: meaning they work against the formation of blood vessels. These treatments are very effective in stopping this disease, but they have a limitation: their half-life is very short, requiring administration every month or month and a half.

Fortunately, a few months ago, a new medication called Vabysmo was approved. It has proven to be more effective than existing treatments and, most importantly, has a much longer half-life, allowing it to be administered every three or four months.

Regarding dry AMD, a new treatment could be confirmed in the future. A few months ago, we at Barraquer began participating in a promising clinical trial. This trial involves a single isolated injection, which is expected to slow down the progression of the disease, prevent severe forms with central retinal involvement and, consequently prevent further vision impairment.

You can now listen to this episode of the podcast to address the main doubts about AMD. We also would like to remind you that you can send us your questions about eye health on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook through the hashtag #DescansaLaVista, so we can address them in future episodes.

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Claves para entender la DMAE #14


La degeneración macular asociada a la edad, conocida también por sus siglas ‘DMAE’, es una enfermedad degenerativa de la mácula que provoca una disminución progresiva de la visión central. La mácula es un área pequeña localizada en el centro de la retina, la capa posterior del ojo que transforma la luz y las imágenes que entran en el ojo en señales nerviosas que son enviadas al cerebro. Actualmente, es la causa más frecuente de disminución severa de la visión en el mundo occidental. En España afecta aproximadamente al 13% de las personas mayores de 65 años. Hablamos con la doctora Sònia Viver, oftalmóloga de Barraquer, para resolver las principales dudas sobre esta patología.