Your optometrist at your opticians can test your sight, prescribe glasses and check your eyes for disease. Some optometrists will use photography or other imaging to detect early signs of age related macular degeneration (AMD).
What is the macula?
The macula is part of the retina at the back of the eye and is responsible for all of our central vision, most of our colour vision and the fine details of what we see. It is only about 5mm in diameter. Macular conditions cause loss of central vision.
The symptoms of age-related macular degeneration include:
- Gaps or dark spots (like a smudge on glasses) may appear in your vision, especially first thing in the morning.
- Objects in front of you might change shape, size or colour or seem to move or disappear.
- Colours can fade.
- You may find bright light glaring and uncomfortable or find it difficult to adapt when moving from dark to light environments.
- Words might disappear when you are reading.
- Straight lines such as door frames and lampposts may appear distorted or bent.
AMD will affect different people in different ways and the symptoms may develop slowly. As the condition progresses however, the ability to see clearly will change.
AMD is just one of the many forms of macular disease and usually affects those people over 60 years of age although it can happen earlier. In the United Kingdom, AMD affects approximately 600,000 people and it is the most common cause of sight loss in the developed world
About half of people affected by AMD are registered as visually impaired, although it’s important to remember that no matter how advanced your macular degeneration is, you will not lose all your sight.
As our age increases so does the risk of developing AMD. Around one in every 200 people has AMD at 60. However, by the age of 90 it affects one person in five. We are all living longer so the number of people affected is increasing. There are two forms of AMD – dry and wet.
The above information has been sourced from https://www.macularsociety.org/