2 Macular Degeneration Nursing Care Plans


A nursing diagnosis is essential for developing effective care plans for patients with macular degeneration. Learn about common nursing diagnoses for this condition and how they can improve patient outcomes. Discover assessment, planning, and intervention strategies for macular degeneration nursing care plans.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is a progressive eye disease wherein the central portion of the retina gradually deteriorates. There are two types of age-related macular degeneration that occur. The dry or atrophic form is characterized by atrophic pigment epithelial changes and is most often associated with slow, progressive, and mild vision loss. The wet type is characterized by subretinal neovascularization that causes leakage, hemorrhage, and fibrovascular scar formation, which produce a significant loss of central vision.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing management of macular degeneration involves supportive lifestyle changes to adapt to the decrease in vision, unless the degeneration is new and caused by abnormal blood vasculature, then laser surgery can sometimes slow or halt the deterioration by sealing off the leaking vessels. Reversal of damage that has already occurred is not possible.

Here are two (2) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis for Macular Degeneration: 

  1. Disturbed Sensory Perception: Visual
  2. Risk for Injury

Disturbed Sensory Perception: Visual

Disturbed sensory perception: visual is a common issue for patients with Macular Degeneration due to several factors. Firstly, the disease process of macular degeneration can result in changes to the macula, a part of the retina responsible for central vision, leading to visual distortions, blind spots, and central vision loss. Secondly, the presence of drusen, which are yellow deposits under the retina, can further impair visual function and lead to visual distortions. Lastly, age-related ocular changes can also contribute to disturbed sensory perception, as the aging eye becomes more susceptible to a range of ocular diseases and conditions.

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Disturbed Sensory Perception

May be related to

  • Macular degeneration
  • Presence of drusen
  • Central vision loss
  • Age-related ocular changes

Possibly evidenced by

  • Distortion of central vision
  • Straight lines appear distorted
  • Objects appearing smaller or larger than normal
  • Distortion of vision noted on the grid
  • Presence of drusen or yellow deposits under the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye
  • Legal blindness
  • Subretinal edema
  • Retinal bleeding

Desired Outcomes

  • The patient will regain the optimal vision possible and will adapt to permanent visual changes
  • The patient will be able to verbalize understanding of visual loss and diseases of the eyes.
  • The patient will be able to regain vision to the maximum possible extent with the surgical procedure.
  • The patient will be able to deal with the potential for permanent visual loss.
  • The patient will maintain a safe environment with no injury noted.
  • The patient will be able to use adaptive devices to compensate for visual loss.
  • The patient will be compliant with the instructions given and will be able to notify the physician of emergency symptoms.

Nursing Assessment and Rationales

1. Assess the patient’s ability to see and perform activities.
Provides a baseline for the determination of changes affecting the patient’s visual acuity.

2. Assist in diagnostic procedures and provide appropriate information:

  • 2.1. Indirect ophthalmoscope
    Fundus examination through a dilated pupil may reveal gross macular changes.
  • 2.2. Amsler’s grid
    Used to monitor visual field loss.
  • 2.3. I.V. fluorescein angiography
    Sequential photographs may show leaking vessels as fluorescein dye flows into the tissues from the subretinal neovascular net.

Nursing Interventions and Rationales

1. Encourage the patient to see an ophthalmologist at least yearly.
Can monitor progressive visual loss or complications. Decreases in visual acuity can increase confusion in elderly patients.

2. Provide sufficient lighting for the patient to carry out activities.
Elderly patients need twice as much light as younger people.

3. Provide lighting that avoids glare on surfaces of walls, reading materials, and so forth.
Elderly patients’ eyes are more sensitive to glare and cataracts diffuse glare so the patient has more difficulty with vision.

4. Provide night light for the patient’s room and ensure lighting is adequate for the patient’s needs.
Patients’ eyes may require longer accommodation time to changes in lighting levels. The provision of adequate lighting helps to prevent injury.

5. Provide large print objects and visual aids for teaching.
Assists patient to see larger print and promotes a sense of independence.

6. Provide information about laser surgery.
Laser surgery may be helpful for the wet type of macular degeneration if done early. Approximately only 20% of patients will have any improvement in visual function if done later.


Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

Disclosure: Included below are affiliate links from Amazon at no additional cost from you. We may earn a small commission from your purchase. For more information, check out our privacy policy.

Ackley and Ladwig’s Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care
We love this book because of its evidence-based approach to nursing interventions. This care plan handbook uses an easy, three-step system to guide you through client assessment, nursing diagnosis, and care planning. Includes step-by-step instructions showing how to implement care and evaluate outcomes, and help you build skills in diagnostic reasoning and critical thinking.

Nursing Care Plans – Nursing Diagnosis & Intervention (10th Edition)
Includes over two hundred care plans that reflect the most recent evidence-based guidelines. New to this edition are ICNP diagnoses, care plans on LGBTQ health issues and on electrolytes and acid-base balance.

NANDA International Nursing Diagnoses: Definitions & Classification, 2021-2023
The definitive guide to nursing diagnoses is reviewed and approved by the NANDA International. In this new version of a pioneering text, all introductory chapters have been rewritten to provide nurses with the essential information they need to comprehend assessment, its relationship to diagnosis and clinical reasoning, and the purpose and application of taxonomic organization at the bedside. A total of 46 new nursing diagnoses and 67 amended nursing diagnostics are presented.

Nurse’s Pocket Guide: Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions, and Rationales
Quick-reference tool includes all you need to identify the correct diagnoses for efficient patient care planning. The sixteenth edition includes the most recent nursing diagnoses and interventions from NANDA-I 2021-2023 and an alphabetized listing of nursing diagnoses covering more than 400 disorders.

Nursing Diagnosis Manual: Planning, Individualizing, and Documenting Client Care 
Identify interventions to plan, individualize, and document care for more than 800 diseases and disorders. Only in the Nursing Diagnosis Manual will you find for each diagnosis…. subjectively and objectively – sample clinical applications, prioritized action/interventions with rationales – a documentation section, and much more!

All-in-One Nursing Care Planning Resource – E-Book: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Maternity, and Psychiatric-Mental Health 
Includes over 100 care plans for medical-surgical, maternity/OB, pediatrics, and psychiatric and mental health. Interprofessional “patient problems” focus familiarizes you with how to speak to patients.

See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other ophthalmic nursing care plans:


Matt Vera, a registered nurse since 2009, leverages his experiences as a former student struggling with complex nursing topics to help aspiring nurses as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs, simplifying the learning process, breaking down complicated subjects, and finding innovative ways to assist students in reaching their full potential as future healthcare providers.

1 thought on “2 Macular Degeneration Nursing Care Plans”

  1. This is an excellent knowledge base to learn about the nursing diagnosis and care for the Medical Professionals . Myself being an eye specialist could learn alot from this which will help me to provide better care for my patients with eye problems and suggestions for their management. Thank you very much.


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