Main cause of blindness
Only 67 per cent of Kiwis over the age of 50 have heard of New Zealand’s leading cause of blindness.
But macular degeneration is three times as prevalent as dementia and can be spotted with a simple test.
The disease can result in a gradual loss of central vision or a sudden loss of vision caused by abnormal blood vessels growing into the retina.
Immediate medical treatment is essential if symptoms occur.
Phillippa Pitcher of Macular Degeneration New Zealand says early detection is vital. Progression of the condition can be slowed by making lifestyle changes, reducing smoking, improving nutrition and taking eye health supplements, she says.
Macular Degeneration Awareness Week ended on Sunday.