Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that can blur your central vision. It happens when aging causes damage to the macula — the part of the eye that controls sharp, straight-ahead vision.
AMD is a common condition and is a leading cause of vision loss for older adults. AMD doesn’t cause complete blindness but losing your central vision can make it harder to see faces, read, drive, or do close-up work like cooking or fixing things around the house.
AMD happens very slowly in some people and faster in others. If you have early AMD, you may not notice vision loss for a long time. That’s why it’s important to get regular eye exams to find out if you have AMD.
AMD is a progressive disease. The symptoms depend on the stage. Dry AMD happens in 3 stages: early, intermediate, and late.
Straight lines looking wavy is a warning sign for late AMD. If you notice this symptom, contact your local optometrist as soon as possible.
The good news is Macular degeneration is not painful and almost never leads to total blindness. It’s the most common cause of poor sight in the over 60-age groups but never affects the vision outside the central area. This means that almost everybody will still have their peripheral vision (side vision) to keep their independence. Near vision can be improved by using stronger reading spectacles or magnifiers
Treatment for AMD depends on the stage and type. There’s currently no treatment for early AMD, so your Optometrist may ask you to monitor progress with more regular eye examinations for example every year instead of every two years. Eating healthy, getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking can also help.
If you have intermediate AMD in one or both eyes, special dietary supplements (vitamins and minerals) may be able to stop it from turning into late AMD. If you have late AMD in only one eye, these supplements may slow down AMD in your other eye.
There’s currently no treatment for late dry AMD, but researchers are hard at work looking for treatment options. Further support and learning is also available to help you live with vision loss from AMD.
If you’re concerned about your eye health in any way, the first step is to have an eye examination at your preferred optician’s. At Optical People, we treat all of our patients with the utmost care and you can have full confidence in our team of friendly optical experts. You can book an eye test at a date and time that’s convenient for you, either online or over the phone.
Our online eye health quiz is a great way to identify potential issues or just confirm that everything is actually ok. Take this two minute test and if you’re concerned in any way, you can book an eye test appointment or call and speak to our qualified optical people.