Age-related macular degeneration accounts for almost 50% of those registered as sight impaired in the UK, with an estimated half a million people having some degree of the condition in the UK. There are two types: dry and wet.
Dry AMD is caused by the gradual break down of light-sensitive cells in the macula over several years. Wet AMD is caused by the growth of blood vessels underneath the macula, which can leak or cause scarring.
It is not known why this is, but it tends to happen as people get older. There are also several risk factors associated with macular degeneration:
- Family history
As it’s an age-related process, it usually involves both eyes, although they may not be affected at the same time.
Your optometrist will be able to advise on adjustments you can make to your lifestyle to lower your risk of macular degeneration, such as nutritional supplements to slow the progression of the condition.
Our optician at Eyekit will monitor your vision and eye health with regular eye tests to detect any changes, as dry macular degeneration can develop into the wet type - which then can be treated.
If there are signs of wet macular degeneration, your optometrist will refer you to the hospital for prompt treatment.