Macular Degeneration (MD) is the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australia. One in seven people over the age of 50 are affected by the disease and the incidence increases with age and is often called Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
MD refers to a group of degenerative diseases of the retina that cause progressive, painless loss of central vision, affecting the ability to see fine detail, drive, read and recognise faces.
The Macula is the very centre of the retina. You are reading this text using your macula. It is responsible for your central, detailed vision. It is responsible for your ability to read, distinguish faces, drive a car and any other activities which require fine vision.
What is MD?
MD causes progressive damage to the macula resulting in central vision loss.
Dry MD is caused by the build-up of deposits in the layer under the retina with time and can lead to thinning of the central retina and gradual loss of central vision.
Wet MD is characterised by a sudden loss of vision and is caused by abnormal growth of blood vessels into the retina.
What are the symptoms?
- Difficulty in reading or doing any other activity which requires fine vision.
- Distortion – straight lines appear wavy or bent.
- Distinguishing faces becomes difficult.
- Dark patches or empty spaces in the centre of one’s vision.
- Preventative treatments
- Medical treatments
- Visual rehabilitation surgery