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01 July 2019It's Macular Awareness Week

We’re coming to the end of Macular Awareness Week and I thought it might be handy to go over Age-related Macular Degeneration. What is Macular Degeneration? What, even, is the macula?
Well, Macular Degeneration gets a lot of press, so you may have heard of it. When I did my training 25 years ago we were taught to call it “wear and tear”. It was something that happened as your eyes got older and there was nothing we could do about it. That has all changed. We now know so much more about macular degeneration. And although there is no cure yet, there are some treatments for some types of the disease. But it is still, by far, the main cause of sight loss in the UK. 
So, what is it? The macula is an area at the back of your eye that controls your central vision. When you’re looking at me, you’re using your macula. So, when this central vision area is damaged it can affect everything - reading, watching TV, communicating, recognising people, crossing a road safely, pouring water into a cup. There are 2 main types- Dry AMD and Wet AMD. Dry AMD is more gradual and has to do with a build up of lipids, or fatty deposits, under the macula area. Wet AMD comes on quicker, has a bigger impact on your vision and is to do with new blood vessels growing under the macula that shouldn’t be there. Sometimes you can get injections to help prevent vision loss with this type, the wet type. But otherwise, so far,  there’s no treatment for either. 
Prevention is the best thing you can do! The risk factors for Macular disease include smoking and poor diet. Eating a real food diet - a diet which limits processed foods and sugar and is rich in “real” foods like vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, dairy-  is a great idea for more than just your macula health! 
And if you’re worried about changes in your vision - book an eye examination straight away. 
And if you can no longer leave your home without assistance, you can book a home visit optician on 0141 611 9696
Ann McBay, principal optometrist, McBay Mobile Opticians

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