Macular Degeneration: The Facts
This week is Macular Degeneration Awareness Week (24-30 May) with the key message, “How’s Your Macula?“. Macular degeneration is Australia’s leading cause of severe vision loss and blindness. There is no cure. Did you know that over 1.5 million Australians over 50 are living with some evidence of macular degeneration? That’s a lot of people. One in four people over 50 are not having their eyes tested and their macula checked, despite 85% being aware of macular degeneration. Prevention is key to reducing your risk of developing this condition.
- Being over the age of 50
- Direct family history
- Poor diet
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Symptoms of macular degeneration may include one or more of the 4 D’s.
- Difficulty with reading or any other activity with fine vision
- Distortion where straight lines appear wavy or bent
- Distinguishing faces becomes a problem
- Dark patches or empty spaces appear in the centre of your vision
In the earliest stages you won’t necessarily have any visual symptoms and these minor signs are only detectable through a comprehensive eye exam.
Tips for Prevention
- Regular eye test and macula check
- Eat well and include dark, green leafy vegetables, fresh fruit and fish regularly
- Quit smoking
How’s Your Macula?
The unique technology we have at Envision Optical allows us to measure your risk of developing macular degeneration. Using Queensland’s only MPOD devices, and only 1 of 3 eye care practices in Australia who have this technology, we measure the macular pigment density in your eye, which is the internal protective layer that filters harmful light from damaging the sensitive macula cells. Dietary changes and supplements can enhance this layer, thereby reducing your risk of AMD. Like sunscreen, protection early in life makes a big difference for later on, so it’s important everyone has this test to assess this part of their risk profile. The best part is you can easily do something about the results! To learn more about your own macula health, call one of our practices to book in your macula test.