New research suggests blindness among older people is expected to rise significantly, and could turn into a major healthcare burden for which the country not prepared.
Age-related macular degeneration is the progressive loss of central vision, affecting reading, driving, and colour and facial recognition.
The report, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, said 49 percent of blindness registrations in this country were for the condition.
It said with an ageing population, the condition's prevalence is expected to increase markedly by 2026.
The researchers said New Zealand must plan for an increasing demand for ophthalmology services, or risk a major increase in preventable blindness.