Football has had a long association with Macular Degeneration of New Zealand, an organisation that works to raise awareness of the disease.
High profile football personalities such as former All Whites coaches Allan Jones and John Adshead have led the sport’s efforts to support MDNZ.
Macular Degeneration causes progressive loss of central vision but the peripheral vision is not affected.
It is the leading cause of severe vision loss.
One in seven people over the age of 50 years is affected in some way and the incidence increases with age.
The macula is the central part of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The retina processes all visual images. It is responsible for your ability to read, recognise faces, drive and see colours clearly.
Macular Degeneration is thought to be caused by genetic and environmental factors.
People over the age of 50 years are at risk. If you smoke or have a family history of Macular Degeneration, your risk of developing the disease is much greater.
The Amsler grid is a useful tool to detect vision problems resulting from damage to the macula (the central part of the retina).
How to take the test
1. Cover one eye, then focus on the dot in the centre.
2. Do any of the lines look wavy, blurred or distorted?
3. Are there any missing areas or dark areas in the grid?
4. Don’t forget to test both eyes.
5. If you see wavy, broken or distorted lines, or blurred or missing areas of vision, you may be displaying the symptoms of Macular Degeneration. Contact your doctor or optometrist immediately.