Áilín Quinlan  Published 08/09/2014

This is one way of testing your vision. The other simple test is the Amsler Grid which comes with instructions.- MDA 

Age-Related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 50 and a simple test could save your sight. 

Cover your right eye with one hand. Look at the kitchen tiles with your left. Now cover your left eye with your hand and check the tiles with your right.

If either eye sees the lines of the tiles as wavy, tilted or blurred, you need to see an eye doctor. Urgently.

It’s a simple test, but it could save your sight, according to  Marie Hickey-Dwyer, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at University Hospital Limerick and President of the Irish College of Ophthalmologists.

Many patients are presenting too late with a condition called Age-Related Macular Degeneration which affects one in 10 people over the age of 50 – many of whom may be undiagnosed – and  is the leading cause of blindness in this age group in Ireland, with over 7,000 new cases here every year.

In many cases the sight in one eye can actually be lost before a patient presents with problems in the second, says Hickey-Dwyer, who reports that  she regularly recommends that  patients to check the kitchen or bathroom tile or the kitchen clock in this way.

“It’s a fantastic indicator,” she says.

Patients who don’t receive treatment in time can lose their central vision – and thereby their ability to enjoy activities such as reading, watching TV or driving.

“You will keep some peripheral vision but you wouldn’t be able to pour tea into a cup or see your food on the table if the condition is not treated,” says Hickey-Dwyer.

The main symptoms of AMD are slightly blurred vision, wavy lines or a blind spot in the centre of the field of vision. 

There are two types; dry and wet. 

Dry AMD is the most common form of the condition.

It develops slowly, like a case of sea-erosion says Hickey-Dwyer, eventually leading to loss of central vision. There are currently no proven treatments for dry AMD:

“Dry AMD is like an erosion. It is a slowly progressive condition  for which research is underway, but other than multi-vitamins and a healthy diet at the moment,  there is no available treatment that can categorically reverse the damage or fully arrest the progression of Dry AMD,” she explains.

Wet AMD is caused by leaky blood vessels inside the eye…. See more at: http://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/health-features/the-simple-test-that-could-save-your-eyesight-30570229.html#sthash.hCnPJV3r.akmizzn4.dpuf

Source: Independent.ie