Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the name given to a group of chronic, degenerative retinal eye diseases that cause progressive loss of central vision, leaving the peripheral or side vision intact. It affects the ability to read, drive, recognise faces and perform activities that require detailed vision. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness and severe vision loss in Australia, responsible for 50% of all cases of blindness.
Macular degeneration is usually related to ageing and most frequently affects people over the age of 50. However, it is not a normal or inevitable consequence of ageing.
You should never ignore any changes to your vision or attribute changes to just a part of getting older.
There are a number of medical treatments available for wet macular degeneration. These treatments do not cure the disease but aim to stabilise and maintain the best vision for as long as possible. In some people, treatment can improve vision.
There are currently no medical treatments available for the early and intermediate stages of macular degeneration, and late stage of dry macular degeneration. However a substantial amount of research is being conducted across the world to find a treatment. In the meantime, positive changes to diet and lifestyle may slow the progression of this disease.
It is important to note that dry macular degeneration can turn into wet macular degeneration. If any sudden changes in vision are noticed, it is vital that an eye health professional is immediately consulted. Early detection of macular degeneration can save sight.
Macular degeneration is progressive and painless and does not result in total vision loss. At Kosmac & Clemens Optometrists, we can identify the signs of macular degeneration even before you notice them yourself, allowing treatment or management to begin as early as possible. Early detection is critical to save sight for both wet and dry macular degeneration the earlier a diagnosis is made, the earlier steps can be taken to slow disease progression. Conversely, delayed treatment increases the likelihood of losing sight.
For assistance with all your eye care needs, visit your nearest Kosmac & Clemens Optometrists team today. Contact us for diagnosis, treatment and management of macular degeneration in Bendigo, Castlemaine, Kyneton, Maryborough, Heathcote and Woodend.