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Macular Degeneration - Age Related (Dry)

Breaking News: Buchanan Optometrists is now one of only two practices in the UK to be able to offer Heidelberg OCT-a scanning to detect macular changes early and monitor progression without the need for more invasive hospital procedures. Call the practice and speak to Alisdair for more information about how OCT-a may help you.

 Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of sight loss in the UK. 

Scroll down for my 6 Top Tips on How to prevent Macular Degeneration.

There are two types of age-related macular degeneration, dry and wet. Both typically happen later in life and are rare under 50 years old. 

Dry age-related macular degeneration causes a gradual deterioration of the macula, usually over many years, as the retinal cells die off and are not regenerated.

The name ‘dry’ does not mean the person has dry eyes, just that the condition is not ‘wet’ age-related macular degeneration. The progression of dry age-related macular degeneration varies but in most people it develops over many months or years. Often people carry on as normal for some time.

Macular degeneration affects a person's central vision. Gradually, over time, tasks such as reading can become more challenging. If you have age-related macular degeneration in one eye, it may affect the other eye within a few years.

Around 10 to 15% of people with dry age-related macular degeneration develop wet age-related macular degeneration

If you have been diagnosed with dry macular degeneration or have a strong family history of the condition we recommend regular Spectralis 4D OCT eye scanning which can detect the earliest signs of both dry and wet macular degeneration as well as carefully monitoring any progression of the condition.

If you have dry age-related macular degeneration but notice a sudden change in your vision contact us urgently on 01634 757227 or click on the call me back button at the top of the page.

Heidelberg Spectralis 4D OCT Optical Coherence Tomographer Eye Scan examination of macula to detect early wet and dry macula degeneration and diabetic retinopathy and oedema at opticians Buchanan Optometrists, Kent

Top tips to help slow down the onset of macular degeneration

Healthy eating Did you know that your diet can impact on the long-term health of your eyes? Conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts can be influenced by what you eat. Research by the macular disease society shows that antioxidants in fruit and vegetables protect the eye against age-related damage. A healthy diet is essential to help prevent damage to the macular over time. Recent studies have shown that supplements containing lutein and zeaxanthin slow down the onset of macular degeneration and the use of a supplement called Macushield which contains an extra nutrient - meso-zeaxanthin has shown outstanding results in clinical studies.

There have recently been a significant number of studies to see if increasing the intake of nutrients with certain supplements can further delay the onset of Macular Degeneration.

Paul Sieving, director of the National Eye Institute, said: “This is an exciting discovery because, for people at high risk for developing Macular degeneration, these nutrients are the first effective treatment to slow the progression of the disease. These nutrients will delay the progression of Macular degeneration in people who are at high risk. The nutrients are not a cure for AMD, nor will they restore vision already lost from the disease, but they will play a fundamental role in helping people at high risk for developing advanced AMD keep their vision.”

It would be difficult to obtain a large amount of nutrients that the supplements can provide from a regular diet. Thus, many professionals are recommending that people take nutritional supplements to improve their eye health, especially those who have been diagnosed with macular degeneration or have a strong family history.

Speak to Alisdair or Kathryn to see if Macular supplements could help you.

Regular eye examinations with Spectralis 4D OCT eye scanning

Having your eyes regularly scanned will help detect the earliest signs of change. Spectralis 4D OCT scanning helps spot the tiniest of changes first. If such changes are found and are treatable (in the case of wet macular degeneration) then early treatment can dramatically improve the effectivity of the treatment. If you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, make sure you have your eyes examined and scanned once a year or immediately if you notice any visual deterioration.

The best OCT scan for detecting and monitoring Macula Degenration is Blue Peak Macular monitoring. Blue Peak Technology analyses the cellular activity of your retina, detecting retinal and macular degeneration earlier than ever before leading to more efficient treatment. Read more about Blue Peak Scanning and frequently asked questions here.

Call 01634 757227 and book an appointment for advanced macular screening today.

UV protection

Did you know that wearing sunglasses with the correct UV protection can help prevent against sight loss from cataracts, macular degeneration, and melanomas?

Most of us are aware of the need for sun cream to protect our skin but often forget about the damaging sun rays entering our eyes. Babies, children and those with blue or light coloured eyes are especially susceptible to UV damage. It is recommended that babies from 6months old start with Baby Banz sunglasses and all children and adults should be wearing sunglasses in bright weather in the same way that you protect your skin. All sunglasses should be fitted for the individual to ensure maximum protection. Click here to read more about the specialist Sunglasses we stock.

Do not smoke

Research has shown that macula degeneration is two to three times as frequent among tobacco smokers and the more you smoke, the greater the risk and the faster the progression of the disease.


Fatty plaque deposits in the macular vessels, which can hamper blood flow, increase the risk of AMD, so stick to a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet and get plenty of exercise.

Drink sensibly

Although smoking is the greatest known lifestyle factor to effect AMD, a recent study found that people who drank more than 20mg of alcohol per day had an approximately 20 percent increased risk of developing AMD (a standard glass of wine is approximately 15mg). The significance of alcohol on AMD is still being researched but not exceeding the daily recommended guidelines is a sensible start.

Eyes sorted, now what about your ears?! Buchanan Audiology Centre now open.  Applying the same principles of expert care, technologically advanced procedures, and the very best product choice that we have always offered in eye care, has seen us set up one of the most technologically advanced hearing centres in the U.K. Read more HERE.