Age related macular degeneration (AMD) explained

The macula is the central part of the retina, which processes all visual images. It is responsible for your ability to read, recognize faces, drive and see colours clearly. The risk of developing Macular Degeneration increases significantly with age, a 50% risk increase with a family history and there is a 3 to 4 times more risk if you smoke.

There are 2 types of macular degeneration “Dry” which results in a gradual loss of vision and “Wet” which is characterized by a more severe loss of vision.

Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty with reading or any other activity that requires fine vision
  • Distortion, where straight lines appear wavy or bent
  • Distinguishing faces becomes a problem
  • Dark patches or empty spaces appear in the centre of your vision
  • Decreased night vision
  • Poor colour sensitivity
  • Sensitivity to glare

Treatment options depend of the stage and type of disease. Current treatments aim to keep the best vision possible for as long as possible and in some cases may even provide visual improvement. The early detection of any form of macular degeneration is crucial to saving sight. Do not dismiss symptoms as part of getting older. Book an appointment with one of our optometrists today to have your macular checked.

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