Macular Degeneration (MD)

Macular Degeneration (MD)

Did you know that Macular Degeneration (MD) is the leading cause of sight loss in the UK?

There are over half a million people in the UK who are suffering from MD, a condition which affects
your central vision. Your ability to distinguish detail, such as facial features, is diminished.

The macula is the central part of the back of your eyes, and is responsible for giving you detailed
vision. It is also the area of the eye that processes colour vision.

MD is largely a degenerative condition, which affects people with increasing age. There is usually a
slow degradation of vision over time; in the early stages there are usually no symptoms. This is often
termed “Dry” MD.

There is also a “wet” form of MD; the onset is sudden, with marked loss of vision; often wavy lines or
distortion is evident. Treatment for wet MD is in the form of a series of injections that help drain
fluid away from the macula; the earlier this is treated the better the chances of stabilising the vision.

The two main risk factors of MD are:

  • Exposure to Ultra Violet(UV) rays
  • Smoking


At this time of the year, many people are considering quitting smoking; apart from the well-
documented health benefits of smoking cessation, a very good incentive is to help preserve the
function of the macula. After all, you only have one pair of eyes, and only you can really value the
benefit your own eyesight brings to your quality of life.

Quitting smoking will not guarantee you won’t get MD, but it will reduce the risk.

Wearing protective sunglasses when spending time outdoors will also help protect your eyes from
harmful UV light damage. A good quality, wraparound pair of sunglasses will usually be adequate.
A sun hat with a broad brim, or even an umbrella on a sunny day, will help protect the eyes from UV


At Eyewise, for many years, we have used a retinal scanning machine, called an OCT, to look out for
conditions such as MD. A painless, non-invasive procedure, an OCT scan is invaluable in giving your
Optician the necessary information that helps him/her decide whether you have MD, or signs that
may lead to MD in the future. Having the opportunity to carry out regular scans is a very effective
way of monitoring eye health, and this can be done by a simple monthly payment eyecare plan at

If you are worried about the health of your eyes, or not sure about the quality of your vision, or just
need some plain, simple advice about how to best look after your eyes, why not pop in to talk to the
friendly team at Eyewise, who would be delighted to help you!

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