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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is macular degeneration?

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    Retina Australia (Queensland) provides peer support, information, awareness and advocacy to people with degenerating sight due to a retinal eye disease. Some examples of retinal … View Profile

    Macular degeneration is the deterioration of the central part of the retina at the back of the eye, known as the macula.  The macula is responsible for central, straight ahead vision and distinguishing fine detail.  Mild cases of macular degeneration result in blurred or distorted central vision and more severe cases can lead to a blank area in the central vision.

    There are two types of macular degeneration.  The dry type results in a slow, gradual deterioration of central vision, which there is currently no treatment for.  The wet type causes a more profound loss of central vision, which can occur suddenly.  There is bleeding of small blood vessels and or tissue swelling in wet macular degeneration.  If detected early, there are ophthalmologist procedures to treat this.  Dry macular degeneration may progress to become wet macular degeneration, so it is always best to have your eyes regularly examined by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. 

    The biggest risk factor for macular degeneration is age.  However, family history, smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise have also been shown to contribute.

    This is the advice from Retina Australia based on broadly available research.  Every case of macular degeneration is individual and it is always recommended to seek the advice of your optometrist and / or ophthalmologist.

    For further information, or to contact Retina Australia (Qld) go to the website at www.retinaqld.org.au  or the national organisation at www.retinaaustralia.com.au

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