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Macular Degeneration

AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION: A SUMMARY

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is Australia’s leading cause of severe vision loss and blindness1 but it can be easy to confuse symptoms as a normal sign of ageing. Take a look below to find out more about the types of AMD, how to recognise the symptoms and manage its treatment.

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How is it caused?

This form of vision loss is caused by a build up of metabolic waste products around the central retina and is increasingly common with age. It’s a chronic and largely unpreventable disease affecting more than 1 million Australians over 50, with this number set to increase to close to 2 million in 2030 2.

Signs and symptoms

Usually, AMD does not display any symptoms in its early stages. In later stages, the loss of vision leads to increased difficulty in close-vision activities such as reading, particularly in low light. Difficulty in tasks such as cooking and recognising faces are more typical for advanced cases, where extreme cases can cause complete loss of central vision, despite preserving good peripheral (side) vision. If you’re seeing any of these symptoms we’d recommend booking an eye test with your nearest OPSM store. Our optometrist’s can assist in diagnosis and recommend the best treatment for your situation.

Prevention and treatment

There is no cure for AMD, however modifying diet and lifestyle, ceasing smoking and use of appropriate supplements may slow progression. Some types of AMD can be treated through laser surgery and injections, which is done to preserve sight . Eating a diet rich in leafy green vegetables, nuts and Omega 3 may help prevent the disease.

Having regular eye examinations are crucial to detect early signs of AMD and can help to manage the onset of symptoms. Your optometrist is the best place to start for advice on any treatment, which can be referred to specialists for the best care possible. To book an eye test, contact your closest OPSM or book online now.

  1. 1 Eyes on the future – ‘A clear outlook on age-related macular degeneration’ Report by Deloitte Access economics & Macular Degeneration Foundation, 2011. 2014 projections are a linear projection between 20910 and 2015 estimates.
  2. 2 Eyes on the future – ‘A clear outlook on age-related macular degeneration’ Report by Deloitte Access economics & Macular Degeneration Foundation, 2011. 2014 projections are a linear projection between 20910 and 2015 estimates.
  3. 3Fred Hollows Foundation http://www.hollows.org.au/eye-health
  4. 4Eyes on the future – ‘A clear outlook on age-related macular degeneration’ Report by Deloitte Access economics & Macular Degeneration Foundation, 2011. 2014 projections are a linear projection between 20910 and 2015 estimates.