ophthalmology

Age-related macular degeneration

Your macula is a specialized part of the eye responsible for central vision, fine detail and colour appreciation. It is located at the back of the eye, in the centre of the retina.

What is Age-related macular degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration is an age-related decline in function of the macula. It can lead to a painless and gradual loss of central vision.

Early macular degeneration generally does not produce symptoms. Our Ophthalmologists at Glaucoma Care can assess your eyes for evidence of macular degeneration and advise appropriate treatment strategies.

ophthalmology Age-related macular degeneration

There are 2 forms of macular degeneration – ‘dry’ and ‘wet’.

Dry macular degeneration

Dry macular degeneration is the most common type of macular degeneration. It involves gradual damage to the macula over many years.  1 in 10 people with dry macular degeneration will develop wet macular degeneration.

Wet macular degeneration

Wet macular degeneration develops when abnormal blood vessels grow into the damaged macula and leak or bleed. Without treatment it can progress rapidly and cause significant visual loss.

I have/may have macular degeneration. What can I do to help my eyes?

Macular degeneration cannot be reversed, but certain measures reduce the speed of progression.

  • Avoid smoking, including passive exposure to smoking.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet, with plenty of vegetables (such as broccoli, corn, squash, zucchini, spinach and kale) and fruit of various colours (such as kiwi fruit, oranges, grapes and peaches). Your diet should also be rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (oily fish, walnuts). Avoid saturated fats.
  • Some patients may benefit from vitamin supplements (tablets). Formulations of macular-specific vitamins can be bought in the pharmacy or supermarket. Talk to our Ophthalmologists at Glaucoma Care prior to commencing vitamin supplements.
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat in bright sunlight.

Use an Amsler grid regularly to monitor your vision for any changes. This may be a sign of dry macular degeneration becoming wet or wet macular degeneration becoming more active. If you detect any changes on the Amsler grid, contact us at Glaucoma Care for a prompt appointment. Do not wait for days/weeks to pass, as wet macular degeneration should be detected and treated quickly.

amsler grid