The macula of the eye is the middle part of the retina that we use for our detailed, central vision. Macular Degeneration is a condition that causes damage to this central area. It can cause problems with anything that we use our 'central vision' for; like reading, driving and recognising faces. The peripheral vision is usually not affected, that's why people with Macular Degeneration can often recognise environments and move around quite well. There are 2 main types - 'wet' which has bleeding and is more serious, and 'dry' which is the more common and milder form.
Things that may increase your risk of developing Macula Degeneration include older age, family history, and smoking.
Regular eye tests are important to diagnosing macular degeneration early: 2 yearly for 50-64 year olds and every year for 65+. We detect macular degeneration with slit-lamp biomicroscopy, retinal photography and OCT scans.
For more information visit the Macular Disease Foundation website www.mdfoundation.com.au.