Macular Disease

1. What is Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain. The retina’s central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail.

  • Dry macular degeneration (atrophic): When parts of the macula get thinner with age, some small white or yellowish deposits, called drusen, grow on the retina and beneath the macula. You slowly lose central vision.
  • Wet Macular Degeneration (Neovascular): Abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina, they may leak blood or other fluids, and cause scarring of the macula. You lose vision faster than the dry macular degeneration and it is much more serious

2. Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

  • Blurry areas appear in the center of your vision
  • A change or distortion in your perception of colour, lines, blind spots
  • A total loss of central visual field

3. How to Prevent Macular Degeneration

  • Don't smoke: Smokers are up to four times more likely than non-smokers to have macular degeneration
  • Obesity control: According to some studies, weight/cholesterol levels may lead to macular degeneration
  • Family history: People with a family history of macular degeneration are at a higher risk
  • Regular eye exams: High Myopia or Aging people

4. Amsler Grid Test for Macular Degeneration

The Amsler grid is used to check whether lines look wavy or distorted, or whether areas of the visual field are missing. It cannot replace a comprehensive eye check up. If you found any distortion or missing lines, please consult your ophthalmologist as soon as possible
  • Tape this page at eye level where light is consistent and without glare. Stand 33cm away from this page
  • If you wear glasses, keep them on
  • Cover one eye and test. Then another eye
  • Look at the blue dot in the center of the grid, try to see if any lines are distorted or missing