Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration

Age related macular degeneration (ARMD) is an eye condition which affects the central part of your retina which is called the macula. It causes changes to your central vision which can make some everyday tasks difficult. ARMD is the commonest cause of vision loss in people aged over 50 years old.

ARMD is often termed ‘dry’ and ‘wet’. The pathological process is different between the two. In the wet ARMD, there is a proliferation of abnormal blood vessels under the macula. In dry ARMD, there is the collection of small yellow deposits within the retina called druse, and degeneration (atrophy) of the retinal tissue at the macula. The dry form is more common, but the wet form is usually more sudden and devastating to the vision.

Scientist are still unaware what causes ARMD that’s why it’s difficult to find the cause of this. But there are some contributing factors:

Age – the older you are the more likely you are to suffer from ARMD

Family History – usually gets passed through generations

Smoking – studies show that smokers are four times more likely to develop ARMD

Ethnicity – studies have shown that white and Chinese people are at the highest risk

Alcohol – has found to increase the risk of developing the condition

Sunlight – if you have been exposed to a lot of sunlight during your life studies have show this increases your chance of ARMD

Obesity – your chance of developing ARMD is higher if your BMI is higher than 30

Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure – these condition are also known to increase your chances of ARMD.


Dry ARMD symptoms

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms you may want to come and see us so our optometrist can carry out a thorough examination and refer you to the correct clinic.


Text seems blurry

You need a brighter light when reading

You struggle to recognize people’s faces

Colours lose their vibrancy

Your vision appears less defined or hazy.


Wet ARMD symptoms

If you experience any of these symptoms you should book an appointment with our senior optometrist immediately.

Blind spots – these will usually be in the centre of your vision and get larger

Visual distortions for eg a straight line will look wavy

Hallucinations – seeing animals, people or shapes that aren’t there.

Macular Degeneration