The South Tees Macular Degeneration Awareness Day is aimed at patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and will have a particular focus on treatment options and support systems that can help people 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 in 100,000 over-65 year-olds are registered sight-impaired secondary to AMD, compared to 110 in 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 on Friday 27 April 2018 in the South Tees Institute for Learning, Research and Innovation (formally known as the Academic Centre) at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough between 1pm and 4pm.
Ms Sreekumari Pushpoth, consultant ophthalmic surgeon and medical retina specialist at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, said: “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 in relation to the condition.”
Numbers are limited, but those interested in attending are asked to call the eye clinic liaison officer, Angela Bedingfield, on 07710 120005.