We are a nationwide network of independent opticians passionate about eyes

Find Your Nearest

SPECS network optician

Information

Eyecare & eyewear

Free Competitions

Win an iPad

Find Your Nearest

SPECS network optician

Information

Eye care & eye wear

Free Competitions

Win an iPad

Common Eye Problems

Information on a range of common eye conditions and problems

Macular Degeneration

The macula is part of the retina at the back of the eye and is responsible for our central vision, most of our colour vision and the fine detail of what we see. Sometimes the cells of the macula become damaged and stop working. Although there are rare types which occur in younger people, it mostly occurs in older people aged over 60 and is known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

There are two types of AMD, the most common and least serious is dry AMD which develops as a result of a build-up of waste products. The loss of vision is gradual, occurring over many years. Wet AMD develops when abnormal blood vessels form underneath the macula and damage its cells, it can be more serious if untreated and vision can deteriorate within days.

What are the symptoms?

  • Blurred or distorted central vision
  • Needing a brighter light to read by
  • Sensitive to lights or see lights that are not there
  • As the degeneration advances you may notice gaps in the centre of your vision, such as a blank patch or dark spot
  • Difficulty recognising faces

Contact your local SPECS network optician promptly if you develop visual loss or visual distortion.

Treatment

There is no treatment for dry AMD but with support there are certain things that can be done to maximise the sight and improve eye health.

For the less common wet AMD, it can be treated with a type of medication called anti-VEGF medication, which aims to stop vision getting worse by helping prevent further blood vessels developing. In some cases laser surgery can also be used to destroy abnormal blood vessels.

Get our FREE Guide

Eyecare Through The Ages

It is important to look after your eyes from birth to old age and at every stage in between. Take a journey through the ages of eyecare for tips on how to best care for your eyes and vision through all life’s stages