It is possible to have the very early signs of macular degeneration without even knowing. This is why it is vital to have regular vision tests by an eye care professional, particularly if you are at risk of macular degeneration due to age, lifestyle factors or family history. An eye care professional can look at the back of the eye and identify early symptoms, such as the presence of drusen.
- Difficulty in reading or any other activity which requires fine vision
- Distortion where straight lines appear wavy or bent
- Difficulty distinguishing faces
- Dark patches or empty spaces appear in the centre of your vision
- Additionally, the need for increased illumination, sensitivity to glare, decreased night vision and poor colour sensitivity may also indicate something is wrong.
Never ignore any changes to your vision or attribute changes to just a part of getting older. A rapid referral should be arranged from the optometrist or GP to an ophthalmologist if any sudden changes in vision or any symptoms of macular degeneration are noticed.
If you are already seeing an ophthalmologist a referral will not be required. Contact the ophthalmologist and explain the symptoms. Ask for an appointment within one week of any changes being noticed.
Regular follow-ups according to your ophthalmologist’s recommendations are imperative.
Early detection is critical to save sight
For both wet and dry macular degeneration the earlier a diagnosis is made, the earlier steps can be taken to slow disease progression. Conversely, delayed treatment increases the likelihood of losing sight.