Macular Degeneration

NWLLOC Patient Information Sheet

 

Age-related macular degeneration
Many people in the UK are affected by this visual impairment.

 

What causes it?
As you get older, the circulation in your eyes can become poor and lead to a build-up of waste products in the macular region of the retina.

The result of this build-up is that your eyes will not work as well as they once did.

 

What is the macular region of the retina?
The retina is at the back of the eye. Pictures of things it sees are sent to the brain.

The macula is a special part of the retina, which picks up the fine detail.

 

How does macular degeneration affect sight?

 

Is this the start of blindness?
The macula is the part of the eye that sees detail, so fine vision will be affected. However, the rest of your vision will be unaffected.

 

Is there a cure?
For most people who get this condition, the answer is no. However, some people have the same symptoms of macular degeneration but for a different reason. They have leaking or swelling blood vessels in the macula. Different forms of laser treatment may help them.

 

Can I be helped to see better?
Your GP or optometrist can refer you for assessment for a Low Vision Aid at either an optometrist who deals with these within a local scheme or at the hospital. Your optometrist may also have some low-vision aids you could buy.

 

Talking newspaper
Free weekly recording on ordinary tape cassettes of local news and features.

 

Big print national weekly newspaper
National and international news, published with the support of the Royal National Institute for the Blind. For copies, ring free on 0800 124 007.

Listening Books 020 7407 9417
Talking Book Service 020 8903 6666