macula pigment density measurement

Macular Degeneration is a growing concern as the population ages. Decreased macular pigment optical density may be a leading risk factor in the development of macular degeneration.

Macular Pigment Density (MPD) is a measure of the density of Macular Pigment (MP) in the centre of the retina. MP protects your eyes by absorbing damaging blue light. It functions a little like the eye’s own internal “sunglasses” and the denser the MP the more protective.

Two carotenoids called zeaxanthin and lutein comprise your macular pigment. Healthy macular pigment enables clear vision and vivid colour vision. When macular pigment density decreases, vision is affected in the following ways:

  • Decreased visual acuity resulting in less clear vision perception
  • Less contrast sensitivity so visual contrast is less pronounced
  • Slower glare recovery after viewing bright lights
  • Changes in light sensitivity

Low or decreased MPD is a risk factor for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD causes gradual and often complete vision loss.

We can measure your MPD in practice to establish whether you would benefit from taking higher amounts of zeaxanthin and lutein, in order to reduce the risk of AMD.