What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular Degeneration is a chronic eye disease that causes vision loss. It is caused by damage to the nerves in your eye. It is related to ageing and typically affects people over the age of 50.
It causes blurred vision and even loss of vision in the middle of what you would normally see. This makes it hard to drive, to read and to see people’s faces. In severe cases, the person may become legally blind. In fact, according to the Macular Disease Foundation Australia, macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Australia; up to 50% of all cases of blindness are the result of this disease. One in seven Australians over the age of 50 show some signs of this disease. (Source: https://www.mdfoundation.com.au/content/macular-degeneration-about, https://www.mdfoundation.com.au/content/what-is-macular-degeneration)
There are two main types of macular degeneration:
dry – develops slowly and causes slight to severe vision loss. It is the most common kind.
wet – the wet kind develops very quickly. It happens when abnormal, fragile blood vessels leak blood and fluid in and under the retina. This is the most serious kind.
What are some early signs of Macular Degeneration?
Problems reading or difficulty in activities that require fine vision
Straight lines appear wavy
Problems distinguishing faces
Dark patch in the centre of vision
Needing more light to see
Sensitivity to bright glare
Difficulty seeing at night
Reduced colour sensitivity
Early detection of the disease is crucial.
The earlier macular degeneration is diagnosed, the better. It is easy to dismiss problems with vision as an inevitable part of growing old. As the symptoms of early macular degeneration are not so noticeable or visible, it may be difficult to catch it early enough. Being mindful of any slight changes to vision can help bring a person to an eye examination sooner, which can then help detect any potential diseases. See an optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as possible if you notice any changes to your vision. With timely detection, diet and lifestyle changes, the debilitating effects of this disease can be reduced.
Contact Ophthalmologist Dr. Young on Tel: 1300 898 935 at any of the following locations:
Port Macquarie Eye Clinic opening early 2020 at 163 Lake Road, Port Macquarie
Taree Eye Clinic - 48-52 Manning St, Taree
Coffs Harbour Eye Clinic - 1/73 Albany St, Coffs Harbour
Grafton Eye Clinic - 1/12 King St, Grafton