What is macular degeneration?
This condition occurs when the delicate cells of the macula become damaged and stop working. This can be caused by a number of different conditions. Later in life, it is called age-related macular degeneration, but as yet, it is not clear why this happens.
Generally, macular degeneration is divided into two types – wet and dry.
These descriptions come from what your optician sees when they examine your eye.
Wet macular degeneration
Results in a build-up of fluid under the retina. This causes bleeding and scarring which leads to sight loss. It can progress rapidly, normally within a few months.
Dry macular degeneration
Usually develops slowly, often over years. It usually involves both eyes, although one may be affected long before the other. This can make the condition difficult to notice at first, as the sight in the ‘good’ eye is compensating for the loss of sight in the affected eye. This is the most common form of the condition, affecting around 90% of sufferers.
What can we do?
Mr Puri says:
“The ‘wet’ form can respond to laser treatment in the early stages, and new treatments are being tested, but there are no cures, and unfortunately, as yet, there is no treatment for dry macular degeneration. There is a great deal of research is under way though, and prevention is currently the best form of defence. There’s some evidence that a a diet high in vitamins A, C and E may slow the progression of dry AMD, and possibly even reduce your risk of getting wet AMD. So foods like oranges, kiwis, tomatoes, carrots and leafy great vegetables.”