Linda Sethi, N-Vision’s Eye Clinic Liaison Officer, has taken a closer look at macular degeneration for Macular Week (June 25-July 1) in order to focus on the need for regular sight tests – and share how the charity can help those affected.
‘Age related macular degeneration AMD is a common eye condition which affects the middle part of your vision. It can start as early as in your 50s and 60’s. It isn’t painful and doesn’t affect the appearance of your eyes. It doesn’t cause total blindness but it can make those every day tasks such as reading, watching TV, driving and recognizing people’s faces difficult.
Symptoms include seeing straight lines as wavy, colours seeming less bright than they used to or fuzzy distorted central vision.
There are two types of macular degeneration…. Dry and Wet. The dry type develops very slowly and causes a gradual change to your vision.
For the dry type there is presently no treatment but there are aids such as magnifiers and good lighting which can help reduce the effect on your life.
The wet type can develop very quickly causing serious changes to your central vision in a short period of time over days or weeks.
For the wet type there are eye injections which are much less frightening than they sound. Time is of the essence for this treatment therefore it is very important that you seek attention with urgency. Don’t wait to see if things settle down as a quick trip to your High St optometrist would enable them to fast track you up to the hospital if appropriate.
Advanced age. People over 60 are at a greater risk.
Smokers have a 2-3 times higher risk than people who have never smoked
Avoid packaged or processed foods
Prolonged sun exposure
Diet and obesity
Family history of AMD
Action to take
Give up smoking
Eat a well-balanced diet including fresh fruit and vegetables. Kale, spinach, broccoli, peas are good for eye health as they have high levels of antioxidants.
Salmon, Tuna and walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids which may lower your risk.
Wear sunglasses outdoors to block UV and blue light.
Take a look at the lighting levels at home and increase this where possible it will help you when you are cooking or reading.
Most of all, have regular eye tests as AMD can be detected at an annual eye examination.
If you or someone you know suffers from macular degeneration please get in touch with us here at N-Vision. Many of our existing clients suffer from this condition and have benefitted from our support. Whether it’s a free assessment for a free magnifier which we now provide or support at the hospital when you are going through treatment and consultations we are here to support you on your journey. We have a very active Sight Loss support group who meet here at Sharples Hall every 2 months. You will meet others who are probably struggling with the same frustrations as yourself and are happy to share their coping strategies with you. We have Groups which meet monthly across the Fylde coast in various locations where a member of staff would be on hand to answer any questions over a cup of coffee. For information on all our events please give us a call. Do not sit at home worrying we are here to help. Call 01253 362696.”
- A series of pictures taken by Linda at the medical retina unit featuring staff – and explaining more about her work on site at Blackpool Victoria Hospital as well as here at N-Vision – will feature on our social media through National Macular Week (June 25-July 1). You can follow the charity on Twitter @N_Vision_NW or on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/nvisionnw and our PR Jacqui Morley also posts regularly on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/janarchypr. If you don’t follow social media yourself there’s a chance your friends and relatives will – so do ask them to look out for updates on your behalf or just help share our news with others.