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Eye Conditions: What is Macular Degeneration?

In this blog we are focusing on what the eye condition Macular Degeneration is.

You use your central vision to see what is directly in front of you. Your retina is the light sensitive membrane attached to the inner surface of your eye. Light enters your eye and falls on the retina allowing you to see images - these are transmitted along the optic nerve to the brain where they are processed so that you can see.

The macula is a small area in the middle of your retina, with the greatest amount of light sensitive cells, which is used for fine-detailed central vision. Macular degeneration is a painless eye condition that usually leads to the gradual loss of central vision, but can sometimes cause a rapid decrease in vision.

In Macular Degeneration, your central vision becomes increasingly blurred, leading to like:

• difficulty reading because the text appears blurry

• difficulty recognising people's faces

• colours appearing less vibrant

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the most common form, although some forms affect younger people. There are two main types of AMD, referred to as 'wet' and 'dry'. This isn’t to do with how the eye feels, but of whether leaking blood vessels are involved.

Wet AMD can cause a sudden onset of symptoms over days, resulting from a build up of fluid under the retina, where as dry AMD progresses slowly over a number of years.

If you are concerned about AMD or think that you may be experiencing symptoms, your Optometrist can conduct tests. This may include eye drops to dilate the pupil giving a better view of internal structures.

If you would like to book an eye test or have any queries, Please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help you.