If a member of your family suffers from macular degeneration, you are naturally concerned, in the first instance, about the person affected. Later, however, other concerns will often also start to play on your mind. Is it hereditary? Will I get it too? Can I do anything to reduce the risk?
At iGene we deal with heredity and prevention on a daily basis and help you find answers to these kinds of questions.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition affecting the centre of the retina, the macula lutea (yellow spot), in the eyes. The macula is responsible for the sharpness, colour and detail of our vision. This involves the use of ‘cones’, special contrast- and colour-sensitive cells that are found in the macula in high concentrations. If these cones die (degeneration), the sharpness of your vision deteriorates. Macular degeneration usually develops after the age of 55 and is therefore an age-related condition.
There are two forms of macular degeneration: dry and wet macular degeneration. In both forms, vision deteriorates, eventually resulting in visual impairment. With the dry form this can take 10-15 years; in the wet form weeks up to a maximum of 2 years.
Genetic predisposition to macular degeneration
Your personal risk of macular degeneration depends on various factors. One of these is your DNA, but environmental factors and lifestyle also play a role, for example. To make a statement about your genetic predisposition, we examine mutations (changes or errors) in your DNA.
Preventing macular degeneration
Scientists are finding out more and more about ways to reduce the risk of macular degeneration. That means you can take steps yourself to prevent macular degeneration. iGene can help by sharing relevant scientific information with you.
Want to reduce your risk of macular degeneration?
An iGene Passport allows you to see straight away whether you have an increased or reduced risk of a large number of hereditary conditions, including macular degeneration. If it becomes apparent that you are at an increased risk of macular degeneration, you will also receive targeted information on how to reduce this risk.
A healthy lifestyle thanks to your iGene Passport
For as long as you are using iGene you will continue to receive information based on the latest scientific insights. That means that if important discoveries are made in the future that will help you take even more effective steps to prevent macular degeneration, you will be able to benefit from them straight away.