In Australia, macula deterioration is a leading cause of sight loss or blindness. This is especially true for people who are ageing or getting older. In numbers, 50% of cases in Australia that touch on severe vision loss and blindness are caused by age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Despite this, however, many Australians are not aware of it and this is where opticians in Australia come in.
With May being Macula month, OPSM opticians are working on increasing its awareness. In-line with this, they encourage you (Australians) to visit your local optometrist for an eye test. To add on what other opticians are already doing (creating awareness) during this Macula month, this post looks into macular degeneration. In particular, it answers the question, what is macular degeneration? Furthermore, it’ll look at the type and stages of macular degeneration.
- What Is Macular Degeneration
- Types of Macular Degeneration
- Stages of Macular Degeneration
What Is Macular Degeneration
What is macular degeneration? Well, it’s a condition caused by the deterioration of the macula. Macula is another word used to refer to the central position of the retina. So what does the macula do? Well, it is the back layer inside the eye that records the images you see. Once recorded, it sends them to the brain from the eye through an optic nerve.
In addition to recording images, it is responsible for focusing on the eye’s central vision. It basically controls how good we can drive a car, we can read or how detailed we see objects. In the event that a macula deteriorates, one’s vision becomes greatly affected.
Types of Macular Degeneration
Two types of macular degeneration are popular today, that’s wet and dry macular generation. That said there is one that’s more common and that is dry macular degeneration. Worldwide, cases of dry macular degeneration are between 85 to 90%. Wet macular degeneration, on the other hand, is between 10 and 15%.
While still on types of macular degeneration, it is good to point out Stargardt disease. Although not as common, this is also a type of macula deterioration. This one however tends to affect individuals who are young.
Macular Degeneration Stages
There are three stages of macular degeneration, early, intermediate and late AMD. Below is a more detailed look at these three;
- Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD): Early AMD represents the initial stages of any macula deterioration. With early AMD, it is very difficult to notice the signs or symptoms and that’s why it’s best to visit an optometrist. This, however, doesn’t mean it can’t be diagnosed. Optometrists can diagnose early AMD by detecting yellow deposits just beneath the eye’s retina.
- Intermediate Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD): During this stage, one can be able to detect macula deterioration. For you to do this, however, you’ll need to be very careful. One way of knowing if you have macular degeneration during this stage is vision loss. With any intermediate AMD, there might be some vision loss. To be sure, do visit an optometrist for an eye exam.
- Late Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD): This is the last stage in any macular degeneration. Here, vision loss is usually clearly noticeable.
Why Visit An Optometrist This Macula Month?
There are several reasons why you should visit your local optometrist this Macula month. One reason, however, tops them all. With macular degeneration, there is no known cure thus the need to visit an optometrist. By visiting an optometrist, he or she will be able to help you reduce its overall progression.
Even better, they’ll help you reduce risks associated with macular degeneration. They’ll also help you take into account certain things that’ll help in reducing its progression. This includes things like exercising, dieting as well as not smoking.
For more on all things macular degeneration and macula month, do get in touch with Salisbury Optometrist. You can contact Salisbury Optometrist by dialling (08) 8285 7100 or 0433 510695. There is an option of contacting Salisbury Optometrist via email. For this, you’ll need firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to come in and try on a pair, we are located at 3/88 John St, Salisbury SA 5108