Understanding Macular Degeneration | Macula Awareness Month

Did you know that approximately 1-in-7 Australians aged 50 and over have some evidence of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is a common eye disease experienced by millions of people worldwide.

Macular degeneration becomes evident when the macula begins to deteriorate. Since the macula is responsible for crisp vision and is centrally positioned as part of the retina, its role is vital. So what do we accomplish with a fully working macula? Driving, reading, and recognizing faces – life’s necessities – everything requiring clear, central vision.

Unfortunately, the disease leads to blurred or distorted central vision, which can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life.

Did You Know – Two Types of MD!

Macular degeneration is identified as either: dry or wet. The most common presentation is dry MD, progressing slowly over time. However, wet macular degeneration is less prevalent and more severe, leading to rapid vision loss.

Risk Factors & Taking Control

Risk factors for macular degeneration include age, genetics, smoking, and a poor diet. Whilst a cure for MD is yet to be found, early detection, treatment, and a healthy and balanced lifestyle can help slow its progression and preserve vision. Treatment options include medication injections, laser therapy, and photodynamic therapy (for wet AMD).

So what can you do to maintain quality vision throughout your life? Optometrists and ophthalmologists play a critical role in diagnosing and managing macular degeneration, along with other visual defects and eye issues. In addition, these highly trained optometrists and specialists provide education regarding your risk factors for the disease and the importance of regular eye exams.

Why You Should Act Now

The prevalence of macular degeneration is expected to increase as the population ages, making it essential to raise awareness of this disease. If you’re concerned about your risk for macular degeneration, take a moment to complete this simple quiz online from the Macular Disease Foundation Australia: CHECK MY MACULA.

Macular degeneration is a prevalent eye disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Early detection and treatment are the biggest difference-makers available to us in preserving vision and maintaining a good quality of life. Optometrists and ophthalmologists are continuously raising awareness of this disease and educating patients on impactful risk factors and successful treatment options to meet the challenge.

Macular degeneration is not the only eye disease we want to track. Diabetic eye disease and evidence of retinal detachment are serious and time-sensitive eye-health issues we never want to take for granted. But we don’t mention this to cause stress or cause you to be overly concerned. An eye test (even a bulk-billed examination) is the ideal starting point for thorough eye care.

It really is that straightforward to keep on top of.

Peace Of Mind Is Merely An Eye Test Away

At Island Optical, we’re committed to providing the highest quality eye care services. We encourage you to take proactive steps towards maintaining your eye health by getting regular eye tests. Keep up with us on our social media and blog page for more information on the importance of eye health – throughout the month of May. You can find us on Instagram here:


We’ll shed further light on macular disease, further insights on resources you can use in the comfort of your own home, and what else you can do to support your vision health.

Don’t take your vision for granted. Book an eye test with your optometrist today. We are ready to assist you in looking after your precious sense – your sight.