Macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is an eye condition associated with ageing.


As your eye ages, the retina (the light-sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of your eyeball) starts to deteriorate. The macular is the part of the retina which is responsible for central vision.

As the macular deteriorates you gradually lose the central sharp vision that you use for seeing detail. This means things like reading, driving and recognising faces become more difficult.

This topic sheet was provided by Healthline.


Macular degeneration tends to progress slowly and you may notice these symptoms:

  • gradual blurring of central vision which may be more severe in one eye
  • straight lines may appear wavy, broken or distorted (check by looking at something straight-edged, like a picture frame)
  • loss of clear and correct colour vision
  • print appears washed out when reading.

If you notice any of these symptoms, see an optometrist or ophthalmologist to be tested for macular degeneration.


Your optometrist or ophthalmologist may be able to offer some treatment, but the best way to prevent further deterioration is to:

  • maintain a healthy lifestyle, including eating lots of green vegetables and fish
  • stop smoking
  • have regular eye examinations.

Some dietary supplements are thought to help slow the progression of macular degeneration. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist will be able to give you some suggestions.

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