Diez de cada cien españoles padecen degeneración macular asociada a la edad

Diez de cada cien españoles padecen degeneración macular asociada a la edad, según el doctor Rodrigo Abreu, oftalmólogo en el Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria (HUNSC).

La degeneración macular asociada a la edad (DMAE) es una patología ocular degenerativa muy frecuente que afecta a un área de la retina, la mácula, que aparece a medida que se cumplen años impidiendo la visión central directa, imprescindible en actividades cotidianas como leer, conducir o identificar a personas y objetos.

La DMAE está considerada como la causa más frecuente de ceguera legal entre los individuos mayores de 60 años en los países desarrollado y su prevalencia aumenta desde el 0,5 por ciento a los 60 años hasta llegar al 10 por ciento a partir de 80.

En 2010, la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) estimó que 285 millones de personas padecían una discapacidad visual. De éstas, 246 millones presentaban baja visión y 39 millones eran ciegas legales principalmente debido a catarata, glaucoma y DMAE. Las cifras para la población latino-americana fueron de aproximadamente 3,2 millones de ciegos de entre los 26,6 millones de personas con minusvalía visual.

Como la prevalencia de esta enfermedad aumenta a partir de los 60 años, los especialistas del servicio de Oftalmología del Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria (HUNSC), adscrito a la Consejería de Sanidad del Gobierno de Canarias, recomiendan prestar atención a sus síntomas para poder detectarla precozmente, siendo uno de los métodos más efectivos y de coste cero para conocer si una persona padece este problema ocular la prueba denominada Rejilla de Amsler.

MÉTODOS DE DIAGNÓSTICO DE DMAE

Desde el punto de vista clínico se consideran dos formas de presentación: la forma atrófica (seca o geográfica) y la forma neovascular (húmeda o exudativa). La primera puede representar aproximadamente el 85-90 por ciento de los cuadros oftalmológicos de la DMAE y está caracterizada por una evolución más lenta, pero progresiva hacia la degeneración del epitelio pigmentario de la retina (EPR) y los fotorreceptores. La segunda, aunque representa únicamente el 10-15 por ciento de las formas clínicas, es la causante del mayor porcentaje de pérdida de visión central secundaria a la enfermedad.

Cualquier persona puede realizar en su domicilio la prueba de la Rejilla de Amsler. Su oftalmólogo puede proporcionarle una, pero uno puede hacer una rejilla en su propia casa, para lo que necesitará una hoja cuadriculada de una libreta de apuntes. Tape un ojo con una mano y con la otra sujete la cuadrícula para ver el dibujo en forma de rejilla. Repita el mismo ejercicio con el otro ojo. Si al terminar este ejercicio no ha apreciado ningún tipo de cambio en las líneas, no debe preocuparse; pero si por el contrario ha visto alguna mancha negra sobre el papel o que el trazado rectilíneo tomaba forma de curva o produce un efecto de onda, es el momento de acudir al oftalmólogo porque se encuentra ante un posible síntoma de degeneración macular asociada a la edad, la metamorfopsia o visión de líneas rectas de forma ondulada.

«A este sencillo y eficaz método para diagnosticar la DMAE –añade el doctor Rodrigo Abreu– existen otros procedimientos avanzados como la tomografía de coherencia óptica (OCT), complementada por el examen clínico, además de terapias efectivas como los inhibidores del factor de crecimiento del endotelio vascular para frenar la progresión de la DMAE húmeda hacia la ceguera progresiva que se administran en forma de inyecciones intraoculares, aunque se ha comprobado que la prevención es la mejor herramienta para evitar su desarrollo».

PREVENCIÓN: SIN TABACO Y DIETA SALUDABLE

El tabaquismo no es sólo un factor de riesgo cardiovascular que afecta a pulmones, boca o arterias. También provoca daños en la visión, puesto que recibe constantemente por parte del fumador agresiones químicas procedentes del consumo continuo de cigarrillos. El consumo es el único factor de riesgo de aparición de DMAE modificable, ya que los factores genéticos predisponentes de cada persona no lo son.

La alimentación es otro de los aspectos que puede influir positivamente en la prevención de la degeneración macular asociada a la edad. Un estudio publicado en la revista especializada Archives of Ophtalmology confirmó que las mujeres mayores de 50 años que habían tomado al menos dos raciones a la semana de pescados ricos en ácidos grasos Omega 3 durante su vida, consiguieron disminuir hasta en un 40 por ciento el riesgo de desarrollar la enfermedad.

«Puesto que el cuerpo humano no puede fabricar ni sintetizar los ácidos grasos Omega 3 a diferencia de otro tipo de grasas, su inclusión en los hábitos alimenticios cotidianos en forma de pescados como salmón, sardina, trucha o atún, beneficiarán a largo plazo a nuestra salud ocular por sus efectos antiinflamatorios, antiescleróticos y antitrombóticos», detalla el oftalmólogo del HUNSC.

A esta fuente de animal de ácidos grasos deben sumarse los nutrientes de la vitamina C (grosella negra, col verde, pimientos, kiwis y cítricos), vitamina E (aceite de oliva y de girasol, avellanas, nueces) y los carotinoides de luteína y zeaxantina (espinacas, yemas de huevo, brócoli, maíz), así como el zinc (presente en carne roja y ostras).

 

Fuente: europapress.es

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