The South Tees Macular Degeneration Awareness Day takes place on Monday 25 January 2016 and has been organised with an intention to improve awareness amongst our age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients on the condition, especially on the treatment options available to them and the support systems that are in place to help them utilise their eyesight to the maximum potential.
AMD is one of the leading causes of sight impairment in people over 65 years of age. In 2010, around 2.4% (513,000 cases) of the adult population in the UK was known to suffer from late stage AMD; this figure is estimated to rise by a third to nearly 700,000 cases by 2020. In Middlesbrough, 134/100,000 over-65 years are registered sight-impaired secondary to AMD, compared to 110/100,000 in England.
AMD is the degeneration of macula, a small but vital part of retina, the delicate tissue at the back of the eye that captures images rather like a photographic film inside a camera. Two types of macular degeneration have been described: the ‘dry’ and the ‘wet’ AMD. While both types result in loss of central vision, the dry AMD causes slow deterioration and gradual loss of central vision; the wet AMD on the other hand results in sudden, devastating loss of central vision. Effective treatment is currently available only for the ‘wet’ type of AMD.
While AMD causes significant problems with the central vision, it does not lead to total loss of sight. There are a lot of things that can be done to make the most of the remaining vision. This may mean using brighter lighting, making things bigger, or using colour to make things easier to see.
The awareness event, presented by a consultant ophthalmologist and eye clinic liaison officer, takes place in the South Tees Institute for Learning, Research and Innovation Centre (formally known as the Academic Centre) at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough between 9.30am and 12.30pm on Monday 25 January 2016.
Ms Sreekumari Pushpoth, consultant ophthalmic surgeon and medical retina specialist at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, said: “At the event, colleagues and I will be available to give out information about AMD, offering advice on what help is at hand and how to make the most of your sight. Attendees will also be able to learn about research and treatments and we can answer questions they may have in relation to the condition.”
Numbers are limited, but those interested in attending are asked to call Elaine Compton or Lisa Ramsey, AMD co-ordinators, on 01642 282688.