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    Macular Degeneration Treatment

    In our eye, there is a tiny yellow spot about the size of a small walnut. If we compare it to a walnut, this yellow spot is only as small as the tip of a needle. This region, the size of a needle tip at the back-inner part of our eye, is so crucial that Leonardo could create Mona Lisa, and Michelangelo the David statue, thanks to this tiny spot. It serves as an ultra-modern sensor that perceives the surrounding world, our environment, and our loved ones as visual stimuli and sends them to the visual center, the main power plant, in our brain.

    Of course, just like all states and companies need to protect their high-tech radars and sensors at the highest level, the yellow spot in our eyes is also under the highest level of protection against its enemies. This protection system and defense wall have very high sensitivity, protecting this receptive area against any potential dangers from outside or within the body through various chemical and electrical mechanisms, but of course, to a certain extent. First, who are the enemies? Enemy 1: Ultraviolet rays from the sun, just like how our skin turns bright red when we first expose it to the sun in summer, burns at night, itches, and causes pain; the impact of excessive exposure to ultraviolet on our yellow spot is similar. Considering that this effect accumulates over the years and that the ozone layer is gradually thinning, the effect of ultraviolet radiation is increasing exponentially. Enemy 2: Inadequate nutrition, which can also be referred to as today’s fast-food diet. Of course, when saying this, we are talking about a lifetime of improper nutrition. We need to continuously intake trace elements found in many vegetables and fruits, and of course, plenty of mercury-free fish as well. Enemy 3: Smoking. It saddens me greatly to think about how a person who has smoked 20 cigarettes a day for 40 years has dismantled the defense walls in their yellow spot, that perfectly designed defense system. Enemy 4: Aging. For now, there’s nothing we can do about this, but if we slow down the pace of the above enemies, it is possible to slow down aging. Enemy 5: Our genetic profile, we can call this destiny. For now, there’s nothing we can do about it either. But it’s worth emphasizing once again what we can do here: never smoke, eat a balanced diet, avoid ultraviolet rays, use sunglasses, inform our environment, and not neglect regular eye examinations.

    So, what is macular degeneration? And what are the stages of macular degeneration treatment? Just as our skin wrinkles and develops lines as we age, moles begin to form, similar changes occur in the macula, the main detector of these changes. However, unlike these changes in our skin, the changes in the macula do not give us a more mature appearance; on the contrary, they reduce our vision.

    There are two types of macular degeneration: dry type, which only involves changes in color, waste material deposits, and loss of vision cells. At this stage, there is no need for anything other than supportive treatment and frequent check-ups; it progresses very slowly and can stay in the same stage for years without causing a sudden decrease in vision. The second type is wet type macular degeneration, where, in addition to the changes seen in dry type, pathological blood vessel formation occurs, leading to bleeding, leakage of protein and fluid outside the vessels, causing sudden vision loss. Since there is a risk of permanent vision loss, it needs to be urgently treated. In the treatment of wet type macular degeneration, we are now much more advanced than five years ago. We have two methods that shrink and eliminate pathological blood vessels without damaging vision cells: laser treatment that only destroys pathological blood vessels and, in addition, intraocular drug application that hinders bleeding and fluid formation by preventing the formation of new blood vessels. Depending on the clinical condition, we can apply these treatment methods together or individually, as long as we can diagnose our patients in a timely manner and apply early treatment.