Macular Degeneration

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1 Macular Degeneration

2 Dedicated to your health At GMHBA Eye Care, we are dedicated to keeping your eyes and vision healthy. Regular eye health checks are the best way to ensure the health of your eyes is maintained. The optometrists at GMHBA Eye Care are experts in detecting and managing and educating on conditions such as macular degeneration. Looking after you every day

3 What is macular degeneration? Macular degeneration is Australia s leading cause of legal blindness. It is a condition of the macula the central area of the light sensitive retina that enables you to read, recognise faces, drive and see colours clearly. Macular degeneration progressively damages the macula and causes central vision loss but does not affect your peripheral vision. About one in seven people over age 50 experience macular degeneration in some way. There are two types: dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration causes gradual loss of central vision, whereas the wet form may cause sudden vision loss. Wet macular degeneration is caused by abnormal blood vessels growing into the retina. If you suspect you have any of these symptoms, we encourage you to undertake a professional eye health check. Early detection is essential Detecting macular degeneration as soon as possible is vital to help slow the progress of the condition and improve the overall outcome. There are many visual symptoms, although these may not be apparent in the early stages without an eye test so it is important to see your optometrist regularly.

4 Visual symptoms of macular degeneration If you experience any of the following visual symptoms contact your GMHBA Eye Care optometrist for an eye examination as soon as possible. > > Trouble reading or with any other activity that requires fine vision. > > Distortion (where straight lines look wavy or bent). > > Hard to see faces clearly. > > Empty spaces, shadows or dark patches in the centre of your vision. > > Need for increased illumination. > > Extra sensitivity to glare. > > Decreased night vision. > > Poor colour sensitivity. Lifestyle and macular degeneration Genetic and environmental factors are thought to cause macular degeneration, so if you are over 50 and have a family history of the condition or you smoke then you are more likely to develop it. A healthy lifestyle and diet can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration or slow its progression. For example, it is vital to get regular exercise and maintain a healthy weight. Always protect your eyes from UV light with sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. Smoking is a major risk factor for macular degeneration so it is better not to smoke. One of the most important lifestyle factors is a healthy, wellbalanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruit and fish. This will help ensure you get enough antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients essential for eye health. You could also ask your GMHBA Eye Care specialist about taking a zinc and antioxidant supplement.

5 Test your symptoms Unsure about your eye sight? The Amsler Grid can quickly determine if you may be at risk of macular degeneration. 1. Don t remove glasses or contact lenses you normally wear for reading. 2. Stand about 35cm from the grid in a well-lit room. 3. Cover one eye with your hand and focus on the centre dot with your uncovered eye. 4. If you see broken, wavy or missing areas of vision, you might have symptoms of macular degeneration and should contact your GMHBA Eye Care provider immediately. How GMHBA Eye Care can help Macular degeneration can t be entirely prevented but the effects can be limited or managed. If you experience any visual symptoms associated with the condition, we recommend seeing your GMHBA Eye Care optometrist immediately in addition to your regular eye examinations.

6 Visit one of our locations Geelong P: Moorabool Street, Geelong, Victoria 3220 Belmont P: Thomson Street, Belmont, Victoria 3216 Corio P: Gellibrand Street, Corio, Victoria 3214 Drysdale P: /7 Palmerston Street, Drysdale, Victoria 3222 Looking after you every day gmhba.com.au

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