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Macular Degeneration (ARMD)

What is Macula Degeneration (ARMD)?

ARMD can be of two main types:

  • Dry (90% of cases). – This is a slow degeneration (over many years usually) of the central retina at the back of your eye ( the equivalent of the film chip in a camera) which means a slow loss of central vision making it difficult to recognise faces, read, watch tv, drive etc.
  • Wet (10% of cases) – This painless condition is caused by fluid leakage and/or tiny haemorrhages in the centre of the back of your eye under the retina. It develops rapidly over a few days or weeks and the person becomes aware of worsening central vision and straight lines in particular appear to be bent or kinked in the middle (look at window/door frames or telegraph poles). You should visit your optometrist (optician) or hospital eye department on the same day if you get this symptom.

For Macula degeneration (ARMD ‘wet’ and ‘dry’) we routinely:

  • Carefully examine the centre of the retina at the back of the eye
  • Check for visual distortion
  • Ask about risk factors. (smoking, inappropriate diet and family history)

What happens if you ‘find something' or I am at risk?

  • The macula part of the retina (inside and at the back and centre of your eyes) will be examined in great detail with your pupils enlarged with drops. (You cannot drive for the rest of the day after these tests but you will be able to see )
  • We offer you a special computerised test to check wheather or not, you are susceptible for developing ARMD and advise you on prophylactic (preventive) treatment if indicated.

What is the special test and should I have it?

  • We have a state of the art instrument (MPOD) which measures something called Macula Protective Pigment Density (MPPD) whose function is to protect the macula from the degenerative effects of naturally occuring blue light. People naturally begin to lose MPP in their 30’s and those with dry ARMD almost universally have low MPPD levels.

Can the Macula Protective Pigment Density be increased if found to be low?

  • MPPD, if found to be low can be increased with dietry supplements and then, once raised can often be maintained with dietry changes. These supplements are in tablet form taken once /day and have no known side effects.

If you need any further information, please get in touch!

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