Macular Degeneration

What is macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is a complex  condition with several stages. The main aspect is a loss of sight in the very centre of the visual field that worsens over time, but does not spread.

It surprises many people when they realise that the immediate centre of their field of vision is the only part able to give sharp focus. This is because a certain spot on the retina, called the macula of retina, contains a very high density of light and colour sensitive cells.

This, in turn, means this spot on your retina can resolve details and colours in much higher clarity than the rest of your eye.

The vision from macula of retina is what allows you to read text, drive a car, watch TV and recognise people by face. It is perhaps the most important kind of vision and losing it has serious consequences for quality of life.

The causes of macular degeneration are not well understood; however, the effect through atrophy of tissue and build up of waste products is very apparent.

Macular Degeneration diagram

What are the symptoms

Some symptoms of macular degeneration include:

  • Visual distortions, especially when looking at parallel lines, such as fence palings
  • A decrease detail and colour perception in the centre of the field of vision
  • Vision that has difficulty returning to normal after exposure to bright lights.
macular degeneration symptoms

Treatment options for macular degeneration

Treatment for macular degeneration depends on the stage of the condition. Some of the methods used are:

Want to know if you are suitable for Laser Eye Surgery?