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Macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is a painless disorder that affects the macular, the central part of the retina in one or more usually both eyes, causing progressive loss of central and detailed vision. Affected people find it difficult to read, to recognize people or to drive. However, the area surrounding the macular is not affected so peripheral vision remains clear and sufferers can still move around fairly freely. Complete blindness never occurs from this disease.

The incidence increases with each decade over the age of 50 to almost 15% by the age of 75 although there are some rare forms that affect younger people. Macular degeneration is more common in females. Other risk factors are family history, smoking and exposure to sunlight.