There are many types of macular disease, with the most common being age -related macular degeneration. All types of serious macular disease affect the central vision, making it difficult to read, watch TV, or see faces.
What is the retina?
Thinking of a camera can help you understand macular disease. A camera lens focuses a picture onto a film inside the camera. In our eyes a similar thing happens, but the film is replaced by the retina. The retina ‘makes’ the pictures of the world that we see, converting the light into electrical signals that are then sent on to the brain.
The central area of the retina is called the macula. It allows us to see fine details of objects such as, peoples’ faces, bus numbers, reading and writing, and the letters on an optometrists chart. Whenever we look at an object, the image focuses on the macula. If the macula is damaged all these things we see in fine detail are misty, resulting in:
- Reading difficulties
- The inability to recognise faces
- Colours around us become less vibrant.
Macular degeneration is not always possible to prevent as it is usually associated with age and can run in families. However there are preventative measures that you can take to reduce your risk of developing age related macular degeneration by:
- Eating a healthy balanced diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Wearing UV protected lenses
- Moderate consumption of alcohol