About macular disease

The macula is part of the retina at the back of the eye. It is only about 5mm across but is responsible for our central vision, most of our colour vision and the fine detail of what we see.

There are many forms of macular disease, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This usually affects people over 50 but can happen earlier. Macular disease is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK, with AMD affecting around 700,000 people, around half of whom are registered as visually impaired.

The older we are, the greater our risk of developing the condition. Around one in every 200 people has AMD at 60. However, by the age of 90 it affects one person in five. We are, on average, living longer so the number of people affected is increasing.

There are two forms of AMD – dry and wet. Other forms of macular disease affect much younger people, even children.