Macular Degeneration - Biggest Cause of Sight Loss in Ireland

30 Aug 2013

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a condition that can affect peoples’ eyes as they get older, and is the biggest casue of sight loss in the over-50s in Ireland today.
Over 60,000 people suffer from AMD, leading to such poor vision that all daily activities are affected. People may not completely lose all of their sight, but their lives are impeded severely.

What is AMD?

There are two types of AMD; Wet and Dry.
Dry macular degeneration is a chronic eye disease causing vision loss from the middle of your field of vision, and is marked by the degeneration of the macula in the centre of the retina, the layer of tissue on the back wall of the eye.
Dry macular degeneration is one of two types of age-related macular degeneration. The other type, wet macular degeneration, is characterized by blood vessels that grow under the retina in the back of the eye, leaking blood and fluid.
Dry macular degeneration is much more common and will worsen people’s quality of life, as you need to clear central vision to see detail, and it’s like having a blind spot right in the middle of your eye.
AMD impacts reading, driving and facial recognition. The condition usually starts in one eye and in all probability will affect the other eye at some point.

What causes AMD?

Although it sometimes occurs in family members, the condition is not believed to be hereditary; although the exact causes of AMD are still unknown.
Studies have shown a definite link between smoking and AMD, as well as other factors like high blood pressure, diabetes and poor diet. Vitamins (C & E), beta-carotene, and copper and zinc supplements in your diet can help reduce the risk of developing AMD.

AMD in Ireland

In Ireland today there are thousands of people with AMD, and the chances of developing it increase with age. Dry AMD is essentially untreatable; wet AMD causes more rapid sight loss but can be treated is diagnosed early.
For both wet and dry AMD, help and support is available from low vision services.
There is a simple test for the early symptoms of AMD and an optometrist can detect it; distortion and blurring in the centre of vision are the most obvious signs of onset.
Significant loss of vision can occur within 3-6 months. Early action is necessary to minimise the damage to your eyesight and to help you adjust to sight loss.

Treatment Options

There are a number of proven treatments for people who have the most severe type of AMD (wet AMD).

1. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
2. Laser Photocoagulation (LPC)
3. Intravitreal Injection
If you are interested in these, ask your doctor, optician or ophthalmologist; they should be able to give you more information and advice. Unfortunately, there are no proven treatments for dry AMD but ongoing research is seeking to provide suitable new therapies.

AMD and Nutrition

You can help prevent the development of AMD by sticking to a very healthy diet; rich in vitamins A, C and E and the minerals zinc and copper, which may help to slow the progression of dry AMD in people who already have the condition.
A balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables may help your eye health. There are a number of vitamin products available which have been designed for people with AMD and you can buy these over the counter from your pharmacist.
For a free consultation with an Optometrist to discover if you may be a candidate for corrective laser eye surgery call Optilase on 1 890 301 302 or see

More to Explore

What you can do to treat your cataracts

02 Aug 2020
Read more

What happens to your cornea during laser eye surgery at Optilase?

05 Jul 2020
Read more

Does Constant Reading Hurt my Eyesight?

14 Jan 2014
Read more

Romantic Eye Contact Infographic Sources

09 Feb 2013
Read more

Book a Free Consultation Today!

At your consultation we will answer all your questions, discuss finance options, and assess whether you are a suitable candidate for one of our life-changing, treatments. Consultations with our expert Optometrists are free and take approximately 1 hour at one of our nationwide clinics.
World’s Leading Technology
Laser Eye Surgery Lifetime Care Guarantee
Laser Health Insurance Discount
World-Renowned Surgeons
20% Tax Relief
0% Interest Free Finance
99% Of Our Patients Recommend Us
No Waiting List Guaranteed

Patient Reviews

Holli Burgon
September 18, 2023

I could not rate high enough, consultation was extremely informative and the staff were amazing, very friendly and answered all my questions with ease.

Roisin Byrne
September 15, 2023

I had a wonderful experience in Optilase in Ely Place, the staff were so kind and helpful and made me feel really comfortable. Would absolutely recommend

PAULA Moriarty
September 7, 2023

Couldn't rate Optilase high enough. I had Lens Replacement Surgery. My experience from the first phone call to the procedure itself and the aftercare was fantastic. All of the staff from the call centre to the staff in Carrickmines and the theatre were so helpful and friendly. Would definitely recommend .

September 5, 2023

I had my PRK done on both eyes , and im happy with the result. The post operation pain was extreme but it settled down after 4 days. Now i feel great after 2 weeks post operation no complications what so ever , other than blurry vision now and then, but its improving every day

Rebekah Lowry
August 25, 2023

Got LASIK in Ely Place only yesterday and officially had 20/20 vision just 24 hours later! Cannot recommend Optilase enough from my initial consultation with Aisling in Athlone to my trips to Carrickmines and Ely Place. The staff really look after you from the moment you walk in the door and make you feel so at ease from start to finish - 10 out of 10 experience!

Kate Oto
August 21, 2023

I highly recommend this place, reliable information and care, full professionalism.

Lisa Simcox
August 21, 2023

LASIK was so easy and pain free. It’s one week post surgery and my eye sight is wonderful. I couldn’t recommend enough.

Declan Wynne
August 21, 2023

I no longer need glasses,absolutely life changing.Great aftercare,lovely staff.

Poliana Oliveira
August 9, 2023

I have been wearing glasses for over 20 years. I always hated wearing contact lenses and I got to a time in my life that I needed a change. A friend recommended optilase, I went for the free consultation and the person that did all the exams was really nice and I felt safe and confident enough to go ahead, I was recommended the PRK. I Put on a piece of paper how much I spent and would still spend on glasses for the next 10 years, and the surgery was for sure cheaper than that. My prescription was very high, both eyes, myopia and astigmatism Optilase provided all the information I needed, in clear manner. And they always made clear that there was nothing wrong with my eyes, it was my own choice to go for the surgery. The day of the surgery I was a bit nervous, who wouldn't? But then, from the reception to the surgeon, they were all so nice and welcoming. Hernandez performed the procedure, lovely surgeon, again all information was provided the way it should. I was instructed in what I should and should not do. The actual procedure took less than 15min, I felt nothing, no discomfort or anything. The whole process is very well done by the team, if I remember well around 3 people supporting the surgery plus one other girl providing pos surgery instructions. Right after the procedure I could already see much better than before without glasses! I couldn't believe it, I cried, thanked everyone and left the clinic knowing that I made the best choice. The recovery for PRK is a bit longer, I stayed for 2 full days no phones, or any screens. In the dark. If you have a little one, I would recommend to have someone minding them, as you are very limited in what you can do for the day of and day after surgery. It is hard to open the eyes, the second day after surgery was the toughest, I thought all went wrong as the vision got worst, but again I was advised it could happen. Note that this was my experience and could be different for other people. The 3rd day I felt nothing and could see much better already. Light sensitivity was very high, and still, 6 days after surgery, but nothing that a sun glasses would not help. My vision still blurred, but I need no glasses to see, my eyes feel dry sometimes, but the eye drops provided helps with it and and am very happy with the results already, even knowing it takes a bit longer to fully recover the vision. I'm back to work (screen at 200% to make sure I dont force my eyes too much) and I have had no headaches or anything, which I would have all the time looking at screens for most of my day. I cannot recommend Optilase enough, they are amazing! If you want to do something for your self and want a place you can trust, go for it, choose Optilase. Thanks to the whole team for one of the best things I did for my self!

damien mcandrew
August 9, 2023

Great experience all tound from start to finish. Every step explained in great detail. Eyesight was better than 20/20 the next day. Would highly recommend using optilase for laser eye surgery

Eve Murphy
August 9, 2023

Surgeon was great! Talked me through everything as the surgery was happening. Bit of discomfort during surgery and very painful for 2-3 hrs after but put more drops in and took a nap and then completely fine after. Colette for my consultation and post op was so friendly and helpful. Overall, great experience.

Josman Ibarra
August 3, 2023

I highly recommend Optilase for laser eye surgery. The process from the initial consultation to the post surgery check ups was quite smooth and professional. The staff working at the clinic was very knowledgeable, professional, and friendly. The surgery was over in minutes and I didn't feel any pain. The doctor kept an open communication with me during the surgery what made a big difference.

Lets Connect

Privacy CentrePolicy & Procedures
Flexible Payment with
Book a Free Consultation