Macula Month

May is Macula month which is an annual awareness campaign to help Australians understand their risk of macula diseases.

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss among people over the age of 50. It affects the macula, which is the central part of the retina responsible for sharp, detailed vision that helps us see fine details clearly.

There are two types of AMD: dry AMD and wet AMD. Dry AMD is the more common type of AMD, accounting for about 80% of all cases. It is caused by the gradual breakdown of the macula’s light-sensitive cells, leading to a loss of central vision. Wet AMD is less common but more severe. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina, causing blood and fluid to leak and damage the macula.

One in seven Australians over the age of 50 have some evidence of Age-related Macular Degeneration There are many things you can do to maintain good eye health and reduce your risk of developing AMD.

  1. Have regular eye exams – Regular eye exams are essential for maintaining good eye health and catching any potential problems early. If you’re over 50 or have a family history of eye disease, you should have an eye exam at least once a year.
  2. Eat eye-friendly foods such as fish 2 -3 times per week, dark green leafy vegetables, a handful of nuts a week and limit your intake of fats and oils
  3. Quit smoking – Smoking is a significant risk factor for AMD. If you smoke, it’s essential to quit as soon as possible.
  4. Protect your eyes from UV light – UV rays from the sun can damage your eyes and increase your risk of developing AMD. Always wear sunglasses when you’re outside, and make sure they offer 100% UV protection.
  5. Control your blood pressure and cholesterol – High blood pressure and cholesterol levels can increase your risk of developing AMD. If you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, work with your doctor to manage these conditions.

So this Macula Month, take some time to prioritise your eye health and take steps to protect your vision for years to come.

Visit the Macula Disease Foundation website: