Shore Sight Opticians
28 Caen Street
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The macula is the area at the back of your eye that you use for seeing fine details such as reading a book. Macular degeneration (MD) covers a number of conditions which affect the macula. The conditions affect your ability to do certain tasks such as reading and watching television, but do not affect your ability to walk around as your side vision is not affected.
One of the most common symptoms of MD is noticing that straight lines appear wavy. You may not notice this if it happens in one eye as your other eye will compensate, so it is important to regularly check your vision in each eye separately. You can do this by looking with each eye separately at the straight lines on a door frame or venetian blind. If you notice the lines are distorted, you should see your optometrist straight away.
What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration happens when the macula at the back of the eye becomes damaged. It can be either 'dry' or 'wet'.
Dry MD is much more common than wet MD and happens when yellowish deposits build up behind the macula. This may, in time, affect your vision, though this normally happens slowly. There is currently no treatment for dry MD.
Wet MD happens when abnormal blood vessels begin to grow behind the macula and leak fluid. This pushes the macula away from its blood supply at the back of the eye and causes a rapid loss of vision. Wet MD progresses much more quickly than the dry variety and should be dealt with urgently; this is one reason why it's important to tell us immediately if you notice any distortion in your vision, as mentioned above.
Although wet MD is more serious and progresses more quickly than dry MD, there are treatment options available if caught soon enough.
If you suffer with macular degeneration, more information and support can be found at www.maculardisease.org.
Macular degeneration affects central vision (sometimes severely), leaving the peripheral vision unafffected.
Dry macular degeneration causes patchy yellowish deposits scattered across the back of the eye.