Macular degeneration is one of the most common causes of severe vision loss worldwide. In Germany alone, around two million people are affected by this condition. As a result of today's ageing population, more and more people are being confronted with this diagnosis. One in five people over the age of 65, and more than one in three people over the age of 75, suffer from macular degeneration.
Macula is the medical term for the central region of the retina and is therefore the area of sharpest vision in the eye. With macular degeneration, your central vision deteriorates as a result of an accumulation of waste deposits under the retina. The first signs of macular degeneration may be experienced during reading, with a blurring of letters in the central area of a page of printed text. In the early stages of the condition, only a small area involving just a few letters may be affected. However, as the disease advances, this area becomes progressively larger. At a more advanced stage, the person affected may experience other symptoms. For example, straight lines appear distorted, or dark, blurry areas or empty spaces block the central area of vision. Nevertheless, the peripheral field of vision remains intact for approximate orientation. This means that the person affected can still see a face, for example, but may not be able to recognise the facial features.