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Maula awareness month

Kurt Mechkaroff - Monday, May 25, 2020
Maula awareness month

May 2020 is Macular awareness month. In spite of routine eyecare visits only just returning to normal and with elderly being advised still to remain home and only leave for essential services, this blog is to educate and illustrate the importance of attending an optometry clinic if any of these signs and symptoms occurs! Macular Degeneration is not something that can remain unattended for days, weeks or even months on end. Vision can be permanently and detrimentally affected if not addressed as soon as possible. We, at Eyes on Docklands, are determined to continue to provide all patients an in depth assessment of their macula and ensure the health of the eyes is kept in tip top shape. If the macular looks suspicious we will also be able to provide you with a referral to a macula specialist if required. Please do not ignore any of the symptoms that could be indicative of macular degeneration. And please also, if you already have diagnosed macular degeneration, be sure to still attend for your routine eye testing.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a chronic, degenerative retinal eye disease that causes progressive loss of central vision. This means it will affect a patient’s ability to read, drive, recognise faces and perform activities that require detailed vision. In Australia, AMD is the leading cause of legal blindness and severe vision loss, accountable for up to 50% of all cases.

The most common risk factors for AMD are age, family history, and/or being a heavy smoker. Even though it most frequently affects those over the age of 50, it does not mean it is a ‘normal’ aging process of the eye. It needs to be diagnosed and detected early on in the disease course. It is possible to have the very early stages of macular degeneration and not know that you have it. This is why it is paramount to have routine eye tests when you are over the age of 50 regardless as to whether you feel something is wrong or not. An optometrist can detect macular changes, such as drusen, earlier than what a patient may be able to report any visual change.

The main symptoms that we wish for you to be aware of are as follows below. If you notice any of these then please attend the practice as soon as possible for a thorough assessment.

  • Difficulty reading
  • Straight lines appear wavy/bent
  • Difficulty recognising faces
  • Dark patches central to your vision
  • Sensitivity to glare
  • Decreased night vision
  • Colours appearing less saturated/intense
  • Having a mix of goods days and bad days to your vision, and those bad days occurring more and more frequently
  • Turning your head or looking off centre to see things better

Please remember to #keepyourvisionSAFE. In spite of the Corona Virus Pandemic at the moment, please remember to address any issues with your vision as soon as possible. You want to ensure that your vision is still preserved for when we all come out of this isolation and are able to once again see each other.

- See more at: www.mdfoundation.com.au