What can be done with the diagnosis of "retinal degeneration"
Pigmented degeneration of the retina( pigment retinitis, abiotrophy) refers to diseases inherited genetically. Usually the process begins imperceptibly, can last for years and lead to complete blindness.
Causes and mechanism of the disease
Pigmented degeneration of the retina is accompanied by a constantly increasing narrowing of the visual fields and blindness at night. Pigmented retinitis can be caused by a breakdown in one gene, less often a defect occurs simultaneously in two genes. Usually, the disease is transmitted autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive type, but it can also be linked to the X chromosome, so the disease is more common in the male population. Approximately in one out of ten patients, in addition to pigmental degeneration, there are congenital problems with the hearing aid - partial or total deafness.
What causes the occurrence of such defects in chromosomes has not yet been established. American researchers have found that defective genes do not in all cases lead to the development of pathology. In their opinion, various disorders in the choroid of the eyes contribute to the progression of the disease.
However, the mechanism of development of retinal degeneration is well known.
At the very first stages, there is a violation of metabolic processes in the retina and choroid of the eye. As a result, the retinal pigment layer gradually disappears, the same one in which there are many rods and cones. Initially, degenerative processes occur in remote areas of the retina( therefore, visual acuity does not decrease immediately), and over time the central zone is captured, then deterioration of both color and detailed vision begins.
I can equally suffer both eyes, or at first the process starts on one eye, and later goes on to the second. As a rule, by the age of 18-20, patients completely lose their ability to work, although in most cases this depends on the degree of eye involvement.
Patients with pigment retinitis have a tendency to complications from the visual analyzer, especially cataracts and glaucoma.
Symptoms of pigmentary degeneration of the retina
In the initial stages of the disease, the disease may not manifest itself at all, but later the patients have complaints about a decrease in the severity of twilight vision( "night blindness") and related difficulties in orientation. Given that most of the patients are young children, changes in sight may remain unnoticed for the parents, and the process will continue to progress.
In more remote terms, 3-4 years after the development of the disease, peripheral degeneration of the retina begins. It is manifested by a decrease in lateral vision and narrowing of the visual fields. At an ophthalmoscopy it is possible to see the centers of a pigmentation, they gradually increase the quantity and slowly, but confidently come nearer to the center. Together with this, part of the retina is discolored, vessels are beginning to be seen there. The disc of the optic nerve pales, acquires a waxy shade. However, central vision remains for a long time at a normal level.
In advanced stages of the disease, cataracts or glaucoma of secondary origin are formed. In this case, central vision rapidly and rapidly decreases. Gradually, the atrophy of the optic nerve disc develops, this leads to reflexive immobilization of the pupils. As for peripheral vision, it may be completely absent and then this condition is called tunnel vision( as if a person is looking through a long and thin tube).
Occasionally, there are atypical forms of retinal degeneration. In these cases, only changes from the optic nerve can be present, narrowing and tortuosity of the vessels, broken twilight vision. Very rarely there is one-sided degeneration, while on the diseased eye, in almost all cases there is also cataract.
Treatment of pigment retinitis
The initial treatment of retinal degeneration often consists of medications. Their main effect is the improvement of metabolism in the mesh layer, restoration of the retina and expansion of the vessels.
To this end, designate:
- Nicotinic acid;
- No-shpu with papaverine;
- Aloe extract;
These agents can be injected into the body, both in the form of eye drops, and injectively. It is also advisable to use the complex of nucleic acids - Enkad, which in more than half of cases significantly improves visual functions. Assign it intramuscularly, subconjunctivally, using this iontophoresis, or do with it local applications.
Often in parallel with drug treatment, physiotherapeutic measures are also used, the purpose of which is to stimulate the recovery processes in the retina and activate the remaining sticks and cones. Electrostimulation of the eye and magnetic resonance therapy, ozone treatment are widely used. Vasoreconstructive operations can be used to restore the vascular bed.
Surgical treatment of pigmental degeneration of the retina is used to normalize the blood supply to the retina of the eye, for this purpose, some eye muscles are transplanted into the suprachoroidal space.
Recently, encouraging data comes from gene engineers who have found an opportunity to repair the damaged genes responsible for the development of this disease. In addition, special implants are developed - retinal replacements.
And more recent experiments in mice conducted in Britain convincingly prove that blindness can be treated with the help of special light-sensitive cells injected by injection. And although this technique has not yet been tested in humans, scientists hope that this drug will be able to treat people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa.
As for the prognosis of the disease, it is generally unfavorable, but with early detection of pathology and timely initiation of treatment, the process can be delayed and even improved. All patients are advised to avoid prolonged stay in dark rooms, not to engage in heavy physical labor.