Macular degeneration, a serious eye condition

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe visual impairment in the Western world. Do you often suffer from a blurred image or gray spots. Do you see wavy instead of straight lines. Or do you see a gray spot in the center of the field of view? Consult an ophthalmologist immediately for one or more of these symptoms.

Macular degeneration (retinal aging)

The vast majority of people have never heard of the very annoying macula degeneration of the eye, in Dutch: retinal aging. Nevertheless, this condition is the cause of the fact that a large number of people (100,000 in the Netherlands) are confronted with severe visual impairment. A much larger number has to do with this condition in the early stages. But most of the time they don't realize that. The condition can often be successfully treated, but at an early stage. So what are the first symptoms and what actions are needed?

What is the macula

The macula is the middle part of the retina that ensures that you see clearly. However, this can wear out, resulting in: spots in the central field of vision. Age-related macular degeneration is a relatively unknown disease, although the Macula Association estimates that there are currently no fewer than 100,000 patients in the Netherlands. This number is increasing due to the aging population.


If you have one or more of the following symptoms, wet macular degeneration may occur. Let your doctor quickly refer you to an eye doctor.
  • there is a gray spot in the center of your field of vision
  • it is difficult to recognize and distinguish faces
  • suddenly unable to read properly
  • the colors are more blurred than before
  • you see straight lines as wavy lines
  • you see things blurred

Age-related condition

The wear and tear of the macula is usually caused by old age. The chance of developing the disease increases especially after the age of 50. Important other risk factors are heredity, smoking, high blood pressure and low intake of antioxidants. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain many antioxidants.

Thin retina

There are two types of LMD, one dry and one wet. The second form can be treated well. Wet AMD develops within a few days or weeks. The retina becomes thinner and small blood vessels grow through the retina. These kegs can leak, causing scarring. The scars reduce vision.


For the wet form of AMD, treatment methods have recently been introduced which can be used to stop the deterioration of vision in a considerable number of patients. With detection at an early stage, rapid treatment can often still maintain vision and sometimes even improve it. Treatment consists of injecting a vascular growth inhibitor Lucentis (ranibizumab). With this new drug, the disease can be successfully stopped.

Treatment dry form

A special combination of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, has an inhibitory effect on an already advanced, dry form of macular degeneration. This is the AREDS-2 formula. A name derived from the study of the same name carried out by the NEI institute in America. The occurrence of the disorder cannot be prevented. More info can be found on

Reduce the risk

  • Have your eyes checked regularly, especially if macular degeneration is a family ailment.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Eat healthily with lots of antioxidants such as vegetables, fruit, and fresh fish.
  • Avoid foods rich in saturated and trans fatty acids (butter, hard margarine, full-fat cheese, whole milk products), sausage and red meat.
  • Too much UV light can be harmful to the eye, so protect your eyes against UV radiation by using. sunglasses that have a UV filter.

Video: Macular degeneration and macular disease: Mayo Clinic Radio (April 2020).

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