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Macular degeneration


Symptoms of macular degeneration include normal peripheral vision, but blurred central vision, because the disease affects the macula in the centre of the retina (where visual acuity is at its best). Macular degeneration is a particularly concerning condition.


In most cases, it is caused by an atrophy of the macula (disappearance of photoreceptor cells – cones and rods). More rarely, the cause is abnormal vascularisation of the retina by angiogenesis. Genetic factors (yet to be discovered) and external factors (particularly smoking) can combine and accelerate the ageing of this area of the retina.


1 to 2% of people before the age of 60, 30% after the age of 60, and 60% after the age of 90 have macular degeneration.


There is no known treatment for the “dry” form of the disease. In its “wet” form, various techniques are possible, using laser, photosensitisers and even surgery, which can stabilise and sometimes improve the disease. In some types of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a diet rich in antioxidants has been shown to be beneficial. In advanced stages, optical compensation methods for low vision can be of great benefit to patients.

On this page, we describe an eye disease that can only be diagnosed by an eye doctor. We therefore advise you to have your eyesight checked regularly by an ophthalmologist.