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MD for short is a blanket expression for several diseases that affect the central part of the retina, which is called the macula.

The light that enters the eye focusses onto the macula, which is packed full of cone light receptors that convert the light info into electrical signals that are sent to your brain so you can see. It’s a bit like the sensor in your camera or phone.

In MD parts of the macula are damaged, which degrades the sensitivity of the macula and impairs sight.

There are two broad types of MD, dry and wet, and the distinction is based on whether the damage is caused by leaking blood vessels or not. In general, wet MD causes fast loss of vision, and dry MD progresses slowly.

Wet MD can be treated with injections into the eye of medicines that stop the blood vessels in the macula leaking, and if done quickly can restore vision to almost normal. Injections in the eye sound terrible, but they don’t hurt and they will stop you going blind in almost all cases.

MD can be an inherited disease, so it runs in families. It is definitely worth getting a check and an OCT if you have relatives with MD. Or if you are over 50.