AMD (age-related macular degeneration) is still the main cause of blindness in Irish people over 50 years of age. AMD Awareness Week will be running from September 15th to the 21st. The campaign for 2014 entitled – ‘Begin Your New Chapter’ – aims to show exactly how this disease impacts on a person’s ability to read. This is important due to the fact that most sufferers are unaware that they have the disease.
The campaign has been developed by the NCBI (national sight loss organisation), Fighting Blindness, the Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO) and the Association of Optometrists Ireland (AOI).AMD affect’s a person’s central vision, causing it to become blurred. Central vision is important for everyday activities such as reading and driving so the impact can cause significant disruption to a person’s day to day life.
AMD is the leading cause of blindness in Irish people over the age of 50. There are over 7,000 new cases developing in the country each year, unfortunately many of those affected remain undiagnosed. The disease can be combated by getting regular eye tests, leading to early diagnosis and treatment. The disease comes in two forms – dry AMD and wet AMD. Dry AMD develops over time and as yet there are no proven treatments for it. Wet AMD can develop rapidly but a person’s vision can be maintained and even improved in most cases if it is diagnosed and treated early.