Macular Degeneration, also known as MD, is a major cause of central blindness. Like elsewhere in affluent countries, the percentage of Hills District patients that our optometrist identifies with MD during testing at Vision Excellence is unfortunately on the increase. This disease is devastating because it affects the “straight-ahead” vision of the eyes, which is essential for most of the visual tasks of life, such as reading, driving, watching TV, recognising faces and using a computer.
The exact causes of MD are not known but there is strong evidence that changes in our diet has led to a greatly increased incidence in western society over the last few decades.
There is much research being done into macular degeneration, the most famous of which is the AREDS2 study that has made recommendations about the steps we can all take to prevent the disease. The good news is that treatment is now available if the disease is detected early and referral to a surgeon is made at the appropriate time.
Regular testing is essential. At Vision Excellence, we conduct baseline screening tests of the macula and continued regular checkups allow us to keep a careful record of any changes. Our optometrist at Norwest will explain the results of your test in light of the findings of the AREDS2 study and give specific advice that can greatly reduce the chances of blindness from macular degeneration.
It is vital to have your eyes checked regularly, including your macula.
To find out more about how to reduce your risks, click here
To download and test yourself using an Amsler Grid click here
This excellent video presentation about MD is sourced from Macular Disease Foundation, Australia.