Macular degeneration

In Macular Degeneration, the retina at the back of the eye slowly degenerates. It affects mainly the sensitive central area of the retina (the macular), so as it progresses sharp central vision is lost. Macular Degeneration mainly affects people over 60, and sometimes family history or other medical conditions can increase the risk.

The eye

Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss and affects 1 in 7 people over the age of 50. Do not dismiss poor vision as part of getting old. Symptoms may include distortion, difficulty reading, difficulty distinguishing faces, dark patches or empty spaces, poor night vision and decreased colour sensitivity.

Early detection is key and might provide you with options to slow the progression of Macular Degeneration.

New research has suggested that diet may play a role in reducing the risk of Macular Degeneration. Spinach and Kale contain an ingredient that is protective against Macular Degeneration. Omega 3 fish oil also seems to be beneficial. Conversely, processed fats and smoking increase the risk.

Over the last few years there have also been some new treatments with laser therapy and intra-ocular medication that helps certain forms of macular degeneration.

Optic nerve Retina Iris Cornea Pupil Lens Anterior chamber Vitreous chamber Macular

What can you do to reduce your risk of macular degeneration?

  • Have regular eye examinations.
  • Don't smoke
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat healthy. Eat fish two to three times per week and eat kale or other dark leaf vegetables daily.
  • Consider a Macular Degeneration dietary supplement in consultation with your Doctor or Optometrist.
  • Protect your eyes from sunlight.
  • Take the Amsler Grid test.

For more information on Macular Degeneration visit Macular Degeneration New Zealand.

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