OPSM Clifford Gardens Supports Macula Month

MACULAR DISEASE AFFECTS 1.29 MILLION AUSTRALIANS

The month of May marks the beginning of Macula Month and in support, OPSM Clifford Gardens is educating Toowoomba on the eye disease that can lead to loss of vision or blindness.

Macular disease is Australia’s leading cause of severe vision loss and blindness but many Australians still wrongly confuse symptoms of the disease with normal signs of ageing

Although the condition may not make itself apparent until later in life, preventative measures can be started early to ensure a better outcome.

OPSM Clifford Gardens Optometrist Alicia Lou says, “Macular disease is a chronic condition that can be diagnosed through regular eye tests that examine the retina. Advanced technology, available at OPSM Clifford Gardens, such as the Ultra Wide Digital Retinal Scan (UWDRS) can help detect the disease instore, during a routine eye test.

“Although the disease is most prevalent in those over 50, those with a parent or sibling with the disease, and if you have diabetes. If you're a smoker, the risk is 3-4 times higher,”Alicia Lou said.

Detecting any form of macular disease early is crucial as there are a substantial number of treatment options available to slow its progression.

 Here at OPSM Clifford Gardens our top five tips for macular disease care and prevention are:

  1. Visit an optometrist at least once every two years, or as advised by your eye health professional
  2. Don’t smoke – it damages the cells in your retina and more than doubles the risk of age-related macular disease
  3. Protect your retina from the impact of harmful UV rays by wearing good quality sunglasses
  4. Eat well – research suggests eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can help reduce the risk of macular disease. Dark green leafy vegetables, a handful of nuts each week, eating fish two to three times a week and eating low glycemic index carbohydrates can all help. Also eating foods high in zeaxanthin and lutein nutrients have been found to slow the condition.
  5. Be self-aware – have you noticed a change in your vision? Between visits to your eye health professional, those over 50 should monitor for changes in vision by using an Amsler grid – a simple tool which will test for symptoms of macular disease. To order a FREE Amsler grid, please call the Macular Disease Foundation Australia on 1800 111 709 or visit www.mdfoundation.com.au.