What is Macular Degeneration?

The macula is located in the central area of the retina. This region is where we have our most sensitive vision allowing us to see fine details, read and see colours. Macular degeneration occurs when the macula is damaged. The commonest cause of macular degeneration is age-related macular degeneration which occurs in people over 50 years of age. The early signs of age-related macular degeneration include retinal pigmentary disturbances and the development of small deposits beneath the retina termed “drusen”. As age related macular degeneration progresses your vision may become distorted producing bits of missing vision, or waves in your central vision. The risk factors for age-related macular degeneration include increasing age, smoking, dietary influences and genetic susceptibility. There are 2 types of age-related macular degeneration- dry and wet. Dry age related macular degeneration progresses slowly and may benefit from vitamin supplements to slow its progress. Wet age-related macular degeneration occurs when new blood vessels grow from the choroid into the retina, this can cause bleeding into the retina resulting in scarring. Intraocular injections can be used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration and prevent scarring. It is important to know that once wet age-related macular degeneration has developed, injections may be required indefinitely. For more information and assistance you can click on the link to the Macular Disease Foundation.