The easiest way to check your eyes is when you read. So you cover one eye and make sure the lines are straight, letters are not jumping around or crowding into each other. If you notice any difficulties with your eyesight it’s possible to monitor your eyes more specifically with an Amsler chart.
The thought of having anything injected into an eye usually fills patients with dread. These injections we use are drugs called Lucentis or Eylea, that are available on the NHS. These drugs are given in microscopic doses such as 0.05 millilitres.
There are definite genetic predispositions causing macular degeneration. In other words, there are abnormalities of the genes that result in abnormalities of the immune system, such as complement factor H abnormalities, which is one of the factors that mediate inflammation throughout the body.
In the early stage, there may be no symptoms. Patients may not even know they have macular degeneration. As the disease advances, they may notice some difficulty in being able to see distance and reading. Near vision tends to be disproportionately affected compared to distance vision.
Essentially the principles of the treatment are to try and prevent or minimise progression. If necessary, address neovascular degeneration to prevent further vision loss and hopefully even improved vision.
A healthy lifestyle diet rich in vegetables is important for the general overall health for the eye.
One of the easiest tests to examine macular degeneration is just testing your eyesight at home to make sure that you can read well, and that lines look straight when you are reading the paper. It's important to test this with one eye at a time.
Macular degeneration is essentially a condition that becomes more prevalent with time. The human eye undergoes ageing changes in much the same way as human skin does. There are degenerating changes that develop and are characterised by small yellow deposits called drusen.
My medical school training started as a medical student at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital. I had the privilege of working with a very passionate eye surgeon, Mr Fitch, who I think first gave rise to my interest in ophthalmology. When I saw my first cataract operation and saw the impact it had on the patient afterwards, I was convinced that this was the path I was going to follow.
The main advantages that cataract surgery in the private sector offers is the reassurance you can choose the surgeon.