With Macular Degeneration (MD) being the lead cause of blindness in Australia,
Macular Degeneration Awareness Week 27th May-2nd June aims at raising awareness of this chronic disease and to encourage people over 50 to have their eyes tested and their macular checked.
The macula is the central part of the retina, which is the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The retina processes visual images and is responsible for the ability to read, drive and recognise faces. As MD causes progressive damage to the macula, this results in a loss in the central vision. The Macular Degeneration Foundation is encouraging families to talk to one another about ways to reduce their risk of developing MD.
CEO of The Macular Degeneration Foundation, Julie Heraghty, states that ‘about one in seven Australians over the age of 50 (one million people) have some evidence of MD, a chronic disease with a prevalence four times that of Dementia and more than half that of Diabetes’.
Research released for MDA week has revealed that Australians are significantly underestimating the role of family history in developing Macular Degeneration. Just like conditions such as heart disease and breast cancer, having a family history of Macular Degeneration puts individuals more at risk. In fact there is 50% chance of developing MD when family history of the disease is present.
Here at Total Eyecare, we routinely provide detailed digital retinal imaging that can check the health of the macula and detect the early stages of MD. We also give individual advice of risk factors for MD and are able to offer dietary advice on which foods are good for eye health which assist to maintain healthy eyes and prevent macular changes.