Age-related macular degeneration

A portrait of two children smiling. The centre of the image is covered by a dark patch which makes faces difficult to see. This is to illustrate the impact AMD could have on vision.Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease associated with ageing that affects the central vision. Central vision is needed to see detailed objects clearly and is important for everyday tasks such as reading and driving.

Some forms of AMD advance slowly so people may not notice their vision getting worse until the later stages of the disease. Other forms progress faster and can lead to sudden loss of vision.

AMD does not usually cause pain. It often has no symptoms in the early stages. People with AMD may have some or all of the following symptoms: distorted vision, difficulty with reading or clearly seeing faces that does not improve with prescription glasses, dark patches or empty spaces (‘blindspots’) in the centre of the vision.

Some people may be more at risk of developing AMD. These include:

A range of treatment options that can slow down the progression of AMD exist. Treatment will depend on the stage and type of the disease (wet, dry, and other forms).

Early detection of AMD is important to help limit vision loss. Regular eye tests with an eye health professional, even if you do not notice any change in your vision, are essential for early detection of AMD. If you notice a change in your vision, don’t delay, see an eye health professional immediately.

In addition, eat a healthy diet including fish, nuts, fresh fruit and leafy green vegetables and if you are a smoker, quit smoking.

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For more information

Visit the Macular Disease Foundation Australia website for information on all types of AMD, nutrition, dietary supplements and treatments.

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