2 Macular Degeneration Nursing Care Plans


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 nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis for Macular Degeneration: 

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

Disturbed Sensory Perception: Visual

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

  • Patient will regain optimal vision possible and will adapt to permanent visual changes
  • Patient will be able to verbalize understanding of visual loss and diseases of eyes.
  • Patient will be able to regain vision to the maximum possible extent with surgical procedure.
  • Patient will be able to deal with potential for permanent visual loss.
  • Patient will maintain a safe environment with no injury noted.
  • Patient will be able to use adaptive devices to compensate for visual loss.
  • Patient will be compliant with instructions given, and will be able to notify physician for emergency symptoms.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess the patient’s ability to see and perform activities.Provides a baseline for determination of changes affecting the patient’s visual acuity.
Assist in diagnostic procedures and provide appropriate information:
  • Indirect ophthalmoscopy
Fundus examination through a dilated pupil that may reveal gross macular changes.
  • Amsler’s grid
Used to monitor visual field loss.
  • I.V. fluorescein angiography
Sequential photographs that may show leaking vessels as fluorescein dye flows into the tissues from the subretinal neovascular net.
Encourage patient to see an ophthalmologist at least yearly.Can monitor progressive visual loss or complications. Decreases in visual acuity can increase confusion in the elderly patient.
Provide sufficient lighting for the patient to carry out activities.Elderly patients need twice as much light as younger people.
Provide lighting that avoids glare on surfaces of walls, reading materials, and so forth.Elderly patient’s eyes are more sensitive to glare and cataracts diffuse and glare so that the patient has more difficulty with vision.
Provide night light for the patient’s room and ensure lighting is adequate for the patient’s needs.Patient’s eyes may require longer accommodation time to changes in lighting levels. Provision of adequate lighting helps to prevent injury.
Provide large print objects and visual aids for teaching.Assists patient to see larger print and promotes a sense of independence.
Provide information about laser surgery.Laser surgery may be helpful for the wet type of macular degeneration if done early. An approximate of 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.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other ophthalmic nursing care plans:


Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.
  • 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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