Common Queries

Will I go blind?

No. AMD usually only affects the central part of the retina, critical for reading and fine detail. The outer part of the retina, necessary for recognizing movement and helpful in navigation, is unaffected. You would still be able to live an independent life, boil a cup of tea and go shopping. Watching the television and recognizing faces would be more difficult however.

Can I drive?

You are required by law to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of any change in sight likely to affect your driving. You must be able to read a car number plate from 20.5 metres in good daylight (using glasses if used for driving). Your field of vision (often impaired in glaucoma) also needs to be satisfactory and might need to be checked by an optician registered with the DVLA.

Will glasses help?

Glasses in themselves will not improve the function of the retina affected by AMD. However, magnifying glasses and other Low Vision Aids can be useful in improving the vision resulting from parts of the macula not affected by the disease process. LVA’s vary from simple hand held magnifiers to glasses with telescopes and computer devises. The more complex devices can be quite difficult to use, however.