Please note : The above Amsler Grid Test is indicative only. The grid DOES NOT REPLACE having your macula tested by an eye care professional, particularly if you are over 50 years old or have any risk factors for macular degeneration.

Macular Degeneration

  • What is Macular Degeneration (MD)?

    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. You are reading this using your macula. Macular Degeneration (MD) causes progressive loss of central vision but peripheral vision is not affected.

    What are the risk factors?

    MD 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 MD, your risk of developing the disease is much greater.

    Key symptoms may include one or more of the following:

    • Difficulty with reading or any other activity that requires fine vision
    • Distortion, where straight lines appear wavy or bent
    • Distinguishing faces becomes a problem
    • Dark patches or empty spaces appear in the centre of your vision
    • What's the chance?
    • In New Zealand MD affects 1 in 7 people over the age of 50 years.
    • People with a family history of MD have a 50% chance of inheriting the genetic predisposition of developing MD.

  • Smoking

    Smokers have 3 times the risk of developing MD and tend to develop MD 10 years earlier than non-smokers.

    Is it getting worse?

    It is estimated the number of people with MD will increase by 70% by 2030.

    What if I don't have treatment?

    Untreated, the majority of people with wet MD become functionally blind within 2 years.

    Curtis Vision are proud to support the work of  Macular Degeneration New Zealand.  MDNZ is a charitable trust (#CC42203) with a vision to provide awareness, education and support to those who suffer from MD. We encourage you to visit the website of  Macular Degeneration New Zealand at  to find out more about MD or to support the organisation’s much needed fundraising.

    If you think you may have any symptoms of Macular Degeneration or are concerned about the condition of your eyes or eyesight, please contact us today to make an appointment for an eye examination.

  • We recommend that you have a routine comprehensive eye examination every two years to ensure your eye health and that any necessary optical correction is updated or provided for your daily needs.  Request an appointment for a comprehensive eye examination today!
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