Macular month in May has moved to include all macula disease, Aged related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Diabetic Retinopathy, and all other acquired and hereditary macula diseases. These diseases can have devastating impact on eyesight and regular eye tests are essential in detection and treatment.
Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australia. One in seven Australians over age 50 have signs AMD damage in their eyes, and the risk increases with age. People with a family history of AMD have a 50% chance of getting the disease themselves.
Early detection can save your sight. Regular eye tests that include a macula check can spot the early signs of AMD, and you should see your optometrist immediately if you notice any changes in vision, such as distorted or patchy vision, or sudden difficulties with reading or recognising faces.
Positive diet and lifestyle changes, including exercise and sun protection can help slow down certain types of AMD. There are some treatments available for more aggressive types of AMD, but still there is no cure.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of preventable blindness of working age people. About 1.7 million Australians have diabetes but half a million of these remain undiagnosed. Over time, the majority of people with diabetes will develop diabetic retinopathy.
Regular eye tests are essential in detecting and treating diabetic eye disease, recommended every year if you have any associated risk factors like high blood pressure or poorly controlled diabetes, and especially if you already have any signs of diabetic eye disease. Other risk factors include being overweight, and smoking. Early treatment may mean that a person saves most if not all of their vision from diabetes related damage.
The longer you have had diabetes, the more important it is that you have regular eye checks, even if your vision feels perfect, or previous test results have always been clear in the past.
For further information, please contact us.