What is macular degeneration (AMD)?
Macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of sight loss in the UK. The most common symptoms are straight lines that may appear wavy and there may be patches in your vision. A 3D OCT Scan can often detect the early stages of macular degeneration (AMD). Urgent referral can save your sight.
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What is macular degeneration?
'Say hello to Mac' video from the Macular Society
Symptoms of macular degeneration (AMD)
You may not notice any symptoms of macular degeneration (AMD) in the early stages especially if it affects one eye.
Dark spots or gaps may appear in your vision especially first thing in the day (they may looks like smudges on a glass)
Objects may appear to change in shape, size, colour or move or disappear
Colours can appear faded
Bright light can be uncomfortable as well as when changing from dark to light environments
Words may disappear when you are reading
You may find difficulty in recognising faces
You may turn your head off centre to see things better
Straight lines may appear bent or wavy such as door frames and lamp post
What does vision look like for people that have macular degeneration (AMD)?
Macular degeneration mainly affects the loss of central vision making it difficult for people to see objects in front of them such as reading and recognising faces.
What vision may look like for someone with a late stage of macular degeneration
Photos courtesy of The National Eye Institute (Bethesda, MD)
The Amsler Chart
The Amsler grid is a good way for people to monitor their own changes in vision as the Optician may only see you every 6 or 12 months. It is especially important if the Optician notices changes at the back of your eyes.
Make sure your screen is at 100%
If you need glasses wear you reading glasses (but not varifocals)
Mark with a pen for one eye and a pencil for the other eye where you notice patches or wavy lines.
If you notice any changes contact your Optmetrist or Opthalmologist immediately.
Image courtesy of VisionMatters
Tips that may prevent or slow down macular degeneration:
Image courtesy on VisionMatters
Have a regular eye tests and a 3D OCT Scan. This is especially important if you are over 60 or have a family history of macular degeneration (AMD).
Protect your eyes from UV light and high energy blue light with UV and blue light absorbing sunglasses, spectacles and UV blocking contact lenses. Although macular degeneration mainly affects the over 60s, the damage happens throughout your life. It is especially important for children to protect their eyes from UV light as their eyes are more vulnerable.
Wear a brimmed hat in the sun
Maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure
Have a diet rich in Omega 3 (oily fish and nuts), coloured fruit and vegetables such as kale and spinach and a diet low in saturated fat
Ask you Optician about vitamin supplements that are specifically designed to maintain healthy eyes
For more information and advice on macular degeneration:
Visit the macular society, which includes their helpline and local support groups
Cranford Opticians is supporting Macular Week 2017 . Our cake sale (26 June - 2 July) will be raising money for the Macular society. We will be making people more aware of macular degeneration and the link between smoking and sight loss.