The macular is the central part of the retina that provides vision for the seeing
of fine detail, such as for reading and recognising faces.
Macular degeneration damages this area which may make detail vision more difficult. It only weakens the central area of the vision and will not damage the peripheral vision so mobility is not affected.
The first signs of any damage to this area will be that vision may become distorted – lines being wavy or print being difficult to discern. If you notice any change in you vision that has come on quite quickly then you should consult your optometrist as soon as possible.
Looking after you macular health is the best way to minimise the chances of macular degeneration. Unfortunately we cannot avoid our genetics or age which do play a role.
Smoking is one of the biggest modifiable risk factor that causes macular
weakening, so quitting smoking – or not starting will always be the best advice.
Having a good diet which is rich in coloured fruit and vegetables (e.g Kale, broccoli and spinach) will also mean you are taking the nutrients to aid macular health. Also maintaining a healthy lifestyle to reduce chances of obesity and blood pressure.
Avoid UV light exposure, so good protective glasses when spending long
periods outdoors is advisable.
Those that are at risk of macular changes may also opt to take dietary supplements as there is some evidence to suggest they slow down the progression of the disease.