Age-related Macular Degeneration
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision impairment in elderly Australians.
This degenerative condition affects the macula, a small area at the centre of the retina. The macula is responsible for fine detailed vision, which is required for activities such as driving, reading and distinguishing colour.
AMD affects a person's central vision, including both distance and near vision, and can lead to partial vision loss or blind-spot areas in the centre. The side (or peripheral) vision remains intact.
Functional implications of AMD include:
- Being unable to differentiate between the footpath and road.
- Having difficulty identifying the edge of steps if there is no colour contrast.
- Being unable to determine traffic-light changes.
- Having difficulty reading, with blurred words and letters running together.
- Having difficulty distinguishing people's faces.
- Having difficulty with close work.
- Misjudging the speed and distance of oncoming traffic when crossing the road.
- Having difficulty distinguishing between objects of a similar colour, due to dimming colour vision.
- Having sensitivity to glare and light.
- Having difficulty adjusting to lighting changes, especially in areas with low light.
- Perceiving straight lines as distorted or curved.
People with AMD may be able to move around safely with minimal difficulty or locate items with their peripheral vision.
For further information, visit Macular Degeneration Foundation.
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