Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD)

Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness for people over 50 in New Zealand.

Try this quick and easy test to see if you have any macular problems. Click on the image
amsler test

With ARMD, there is progressive damage to the sensitive area at the back of the eye called the macula which is responsible for seeing fine detail.

Any changes to quality of vision should be investigated immediately because there is a only a small window of opportunity for effective treatment.

Watch this video for more information regarding Macular Degeneration

What is the Macula?

The macula is the most sensitive part of the retina and is responsible for clear central vision. When cells in this region deteriorate, vision is lost. The condition is called Macular Degeneration and because it is often related to ageing it is also termed Age-Related Macular Degeneration or ARMD. Early detection is vital.

The two most common forms of ARMD are dry and wet.

  • Dry ARMD - In dry ARMD yellow, fatty deposits called drusen collect in the macula making vision grainy and unclear. Is the more common form and causes varying degrees of sight loss.

  • Wet ARMD - In wet ARMD, abnormal, leaky blood vessels develop in the macula and as the disease advances scarring occurs causing irreversible blind spots. Many cases lead to legal blindness. Occurs less often (around 12.5% of cases) but can cause very severe loss of sight.

Treatment Options

Early detection of any form of ARMD is vital, because lost sight can never be restored.

Buchanan Optometrists recommend frequent eye examinations as your best defence.

Early diagnosis by comprehensive eye examination allows you to access appropriate options for treatment, rehabilitation, and support services. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) offers a new therapeutic tool to fight wet AMD and prompt referral is crucial to its success.


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In terms of prevention, a major overseas study, The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), included a clinical trial of high-dose vitamin and mineral supplements for AMD. Results showed benefits to ARMD sufferers from using high-quality vision supplements such as MacuTrition in helping to slow down progression of the disease. MacuTrition is also likely to be of use to people who have a family history of ARMD

Even where degeneration of the eye has occurred, Buchanan Optometrists are able to help with spectacles and low vision aids.

For more information regarding ARMD, check out the

Macular Degeneration New Zealand website

Macular Degeneration
Example of vision affected by Macular Degeneration
Retinal image of Macular Degeneration
Retinal image of eye with Macular Degeneration



Buchanan Optometrists Ltd optometry practice in Christchurch is located at Church Corner within the Riccarton Clinic. As an independent optical practice we have the freedom to use suppliers that provide the best service and products to you.

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Monday, Wendsday & Thursday
8:30am -5:30pm
8.30am - 7:00pm
8:30am -4:30pm

First Floor
Riccarton Clinic 
6 Yaldhurst Road
Upper Riccarton 
New Zealand
03 341 4850