This is a condition which typically but not exclusively affects those over 70 years of age, and risk factors include smoking, a history of exposure to sunlight, high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, poor diet, or a family history of the disease.
To establish your level of disposition to this we suggest measuring your macular pigment density (MPD) on the Zeiss Visucam camera. A low reading suggests that the retinal is less well protected from light damage and that preventative action may be required such as improving diet or reducing smoking, and we would then recommend further monitoring to evaluate its efficacy.
It has been suggested that taking an AREDS formulation of vitamin supplement can increase macular pigment levels. Results from the secondary analyses of the AREDS 2 trial suggest that taking a combination of 500 mg vitamin C, 400 IU vitamin E, 25 mg zinc, 2 mg copper, 10 mg lutein and 2 mg zeaxanthin may reduce the risk of progression to advanced AMD in people who already have signs of the disease.
In confirmed maculopathy we can offer Zeiss OCT imaging which provides a three dimensional scan of your fovea (the very centre of your macula), showing the type and extent of the condition. We are then able to determine if it is the wet or dry form and to decide which course of action is most appropriate for you to take.
Wet maculopathy tends to be of more sudden onset and requires more urgent referral for possible treatment, whereas the dry changes are slower and more subtle. Again we would recommend dietary supplements in most cases, and a weekly check with the amsler chart below. Any sudden change or visual distortion should be reported quickly.