Macular degeneration affects people in different ways. Symptoms may develop slowly, especially if it’s only in one eye. Although age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is most common among older people, other forms of macular disease can affect people of any age – even children. So whatever your age, please don't ignore the following signs of macular disease: the quicker you act, the more of your sight can be saved.

Distorted Windows

Things to look out for:

  • Gaps or dark spots (like a smudge on glasses) may appear in your vision, especially first thing in the morning.
  • Objects in front of you might change shape, size or colour or seem to move or disappear.
  • Colours can fade.
  • You may find bright light glaring and uncomfortable or find it difficult to adapt when moving from dark to light environments.
  • Words might disappear when you are reading.
  • Straight lines such as door frames and lampposts may appear distorted or bent.

Distortion can be checked against everyday household grids such as bathroom tiles or a window frame.

If you notice any of these, please don’t ignore them. Book an appointment with your optician as soon as possible. They can all be signs of macular disease.

To find out more about eye tests, including who gets them for free and whether a mobile test could come to you see our Eye tests webpage.

Eye health is so important

You can learn more about prevention, early detection and macular disease on our website, or by calling our Helpline on 0300 3030 111.

Last review date: August 2022

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Learn how macular disease is diagnosed through various tests and examinations. Optometrists and specialists can use photography or other imaging to detect early signs of macular degeneration.

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We provide free information and support to those with macular disease, along with their family and friends, to help people keep their independence.

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