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Macular Degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 65 in the UK. MD impedes activities such as reading, driving and recognising faces.

Macular Degeneration occurs when the layer of the retina responsible for nourishing the macula's light-sensitive cells and carrying away waste products starts to function less effectively as it ages.

Cells in the macula breakdown causing loss of sight centrally but leaving the peripheral vision unaffected

  • Dry Macular Degeneration
    This is the most common form of Macular Degeneration. It occurs when the build-up of waste material and lack of proper nutrition causes a gradual deterioration of the macula, usually over many years
  • Wet Macular Degeneration
    This is less common. It occurs when tiny, new, abnormal blood vessels grow. They leak blood and fluid, damaging the macula and causing a more rapid loss of central vision.

How to protect your eyes:

  • Wear sunglasses when exposed to sunlight
  • Stop smoking
  • Limit saturated fats and cholesterol in your diet
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits and leafy green vegetables
  • Keep your blood pressure down
  • Limit your alcohol intake to recommended levels
  • Visit your optician at least every two years

Help and Advice:

You can check your own eyes for any new distortions.

  • Cover one eye and look at the black dot in the centre
  • Check if there are any wavy or distorted lines
  • Repeat with other eye
  • Any change, contact your local branch for an appointment

You can check your own eyes for any new distortions using an Amsler grid.

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