Common Eye Problems
Information on a range of common eye conditions and problems
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.
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.
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