Macular Degeneration

about-macular-degeneration.jpgMacular degeneration is a condition that affects the most sensitive part of the retina, the macula. Which is responsible for our ability to see fine details such as the words on a page, a picture or a friendly face. There are a number of causes of macular degeneration but the one we are focusing on here is Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) for which there is unfortunately no current cure.  Smoking greatly increases the risk of developing ARMD. A number of studies have looked at diet and there is some evidence a diet rich in green leafy vegetables may help to slow the progression. 

Symptoms vary but often the first problem people notice is with their ability to see detail. It may be a problem reading small print, even with glasses, there may be a slight smudge or the vision may have a blurred area in the centre. Straight lines may look distorted or wavy and there may be sensitivity to bright lights. Sometimes people only notice these changes in one eye. ARMD usually affects both eyes, though one eye may be affected long before the other.

Mild

Early macular changes may cause difficulty with detailed vision which may make straight lines look slightly wavy.

Moderate

Moderate levels of macular changes may make reading and detailed tasks difficult and cause trouble with light adaptation when going from brightly lit to dimly lit areas.

Severe

Severe macular changes may make reading and detailed tasks such as watching television impossible. Recognising faces will be very difficult. The person may not establish eye contact when communicating but instead look slightly over your shoulder to try to better see your face.  Wandering may be more prevalent. Quality of life will be severely impaired.

During an optomise eye examination we assess for ARMD. We record and discuss our findings with patient or carers and make any appropriate recommendations.

More Info: https://www.macularsociety.org/

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