Q. What is hereditary macular degeneration?

Answered by
Dr. Rahul Vaswani
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Dec 27, 2017

Hello doctor,

What is HMD (hereditary macular degeneration) and what is the maximum possible impact of this disease in future on a person? Can this disease make one blind?

Dr. Rahul Vaswani

Ophthalmology (Eye Care)


Welcome to icliniq.com.

HMD (hereditary macular degeneration) is a broad term given to a group of diseases that mainly affect the retina by deposition of some kind of material in between the retinal layers.

These are genetic diseases.

Though I have not seen anybody going completely blind with HMD, it can affect the visual acuity to a great extent.

The visual loss starts gradually and can get severe in the next 15 to 20 years or so.

The patient becomes disable up to the age of 45 years approximately.

Right now, there is no intervention possible for this disease.

For more information consult an eye care ophthalmologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/eye-care-ophthalmologist

Thank you doctor,

Does it mean that any person can have this problem? You mean to say, the person can become visually disabled at 45?

Dr. Rahul Vaswani

Ophthalmology (Eye Care)


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Disability does not mean completely blind. It means that patients vision would be less than 3/60.

The medical literature says 45. But, if the patient eats well and has good food containing green leafy vegetables and diet rich in antioxidants, he can have vision up to 60 years of age.

Then too there will be no stage where the patient can go completely blind.

Cessation of smoking is also very important.

In these diseases, genetic counseling is also very important.

These patients are at a risk of transmitting these types of diseases to their offsprings.

As HMD (hereditary macular degeneration) is a group of diseases, the proper genetics can be established by genetic counseling.

For more information consult an eye care ophthalmologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/eye-care-ophthalmologist

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