Macular Degeneration

Macula degeneration is a medical condition that usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the centre of the visual field because of damage to the retina. It occurs in “dry” and “wet” forms.

Macular degeneration is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults, afflicting 30-50 million people globally.  Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or to recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.

The lifetime risk of developing late-stage macular degeneration is 50% for people who have a relative with macular degeneration, versus 12% for people who do not have relatives with macular degeneration.

There is no medical or surgical treatment available for the dry form of macula degeneration at this time, however some vitamin supplements along with high doses of antioxidants. have been suggested by the National Eye Institute and others to slow progression of the disease in people who have intermediate AMD,(age related macular degeneration) and those who have late AMD in one eye.

In Wet macula degeneration, due to the involvement by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the development of new blood vessels, anti-VEGF agents can cause regression of the abnormal blood vessels and improve vision when injected directly into the vitreous humour ( the jelly like substance within the rear chamber of the eye). These injections must be repeated monthly or bimonthly initially, but may become less often if the condition becomes stabilized.

Your eye examination at Evans & McMahon Eyecare Plus will screen for macula degeneration, however if you have a family history of macula degeneration or any signs of macula degeneration you will be asked back to the practice for more specialised analysis. This examination will pay special attention to the health of the back of your eye and we will document the health with digital retinal imaging and/or Ocular CT scans so we can communicate any concerns to your doctor. With our visual field analyser we can assess whether any of your sight has been lost.