Blue Light: Interview with Prof. Francesco Bandello, Italy. (Highlights)
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Age-related macular degeneration is a multifactorial disease, there is a genetic predisposition, on which a series of factors must then act in order to cause the onset of the disease in old age.
Some of the most important factors that contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration include smoking, considered to be the main risk factor, and diet; food rich in animal fat is definitely a factor of risk, whereas a diet rich in vegetables, fish and polyunsaturated fatty acids can provide protection from the development of the disease.
Another major risk factor is exposure to a certain component of light that we receive on a daily basis, which is blue light and ultraviolet radiation.
To avoid the onset of the disease, those who are predisposed can protect themselves through a right nutrition, avoiding smoking and exposure to those types of radiation proven to have significant impact in causing the onset of the disease.
The number of patients affected is growing continuously, due to the significant and substantial lengthening of the average lifespan of the world’s population.
Each decade, the average lifespan increases by a few years, which is a huge gift provided to humanity by medicine. However, as Nakajima, Director-General of the World Health Organization, noted, medicine also risks to give to humanity a terrible gift if it extends the average lifespan and it is unable to provide proper treatment for patients suffering from chronic conditions.
From this perspective, taking care of the patient with chronic diseases in old age is one of the most serious challenges faced by medicine in recent times.