What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration (also known as age related macula degeneration or ARM) is a condition that causes progressive loss of central vision, most commonly in people over 50 years of age. Central vision is the vision we use when looking directly at an object. We use our central vision to see fine detail and perform tasks such as reading, driving and recognising faces. Macular degeneration does not lead to total blindness as the peripheral (side) vision is not affected.
You are using your macula and your central vision as you read this print. The macula is part of the retina at the back of your eye. Jason can check your macula using a number of techniques, which include viewing the macula with special instruments, amsler grid testing, and/or taking a macula photo.
Regular eye tests (every two years) are important, because you might be developing macular degeneration and not know it. It does not cause pain, and central vision may remain clear, or be only slightly blurry at first. If you ever experience a sudden change in your vision, such as sudden blur (especially if it is only one eye) or distortions in your vision, get your eyes checked by an optometrist or ophthalmologist without delay.