The Spectator

The Way We Look After Dry Macular Degeneration is Changing


A lot of those reading this article will already be aware of Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), it will be affecting someone within two degrees of separation*. It is the biggest cause of irreparable sight loss in the UK and it leads to the loss of the person's central field of vision. It occurs when the macular (or central) retina develops degenerative lesions. Several forms of AMD exist within the sphere and several factors can drive its progression, however the main factor with all forms is the ageing process! 

The prevalence of marked AMD affects 4.8% of people aged 65 years or over, and 12.2% in people aged 80 years or over. Around one in every 200 people has AMD at 60, and by the age of 90 it affects one person in five.

The two main ways of describing AMD are Wet or Dry. Both types are detected using our deep eye scanning technology. Wet shows as fluid within the retinal tissues and Dry generally as lumps and bumps (drusen) within the retinal tissues. Dry AMD is the most common form and previously our ability to manage the progression had been limited, reduced to simply managing lifestyle factors, spectacle protection from more harmful blue light from the sun, diet and the use of supplements. Wet AMD requires the earliest detection possible and requires an urgent referral to have intra vitreal injections by an Ophthalmologist.

However, The Eye Place has now invested in the latest alternative technology to manage Dry AMD to help promote the stability of deeper macular retinal layers to help with the structure’s longevity. The Valeda light delivery system (Lumithera) is a non-invasive treatment utilising wavelengths of red, yellow and near infra-red light to rejuvenate the deeper macular pigmentary cells, in a process call photobiomodulation.  The management of Dry AMD with Lumithera’s Valeda is all around promoting retinal stability and the subsequent tracking with our in-depth retinal scanners (the OCT and Optomap) which have been a mainstay in our practices for many years. 

The addition of this treatment to our practices is building upon our clear philosophy of taking a more proactive approach to eye health. After all, a pair of spectacles is only as good as the eyes they are put in front of!

Regular eye examinations are imperative for everyone, but especially for those over the age of 60 due to increasing prevalence of age induced eye related damage such as macular degeneration. It is also important that your eye exam offers the ability for your optometrist to see and digitally record the deep retinal layers specifically in and around the macula.

For more information on the services provided please contact your nearest branch to book an eye examination! If you are concerned about your macula please book in as soon as you can.


*A degree of separation is a measure of social distance between people. You are one degree away from people you know and two degrees away from everyone they know.