This year during National Macular Week (27th June – 3rd July) we will be working hard to encourage more people to look after their eyes to help raise awareness of the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK.
Macular disease causes a loss of central vision. The macula is the central and most sensitive part of the retina. People with advanced macular disease cannot read, drive or recognise faces. Half of all people in the UK registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired have macular disease.
NAB’s Community Team will be holding events in Corby and Northampton to mark the second annual Macular Week, which aims to increase awareness of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – a condition which affects more than 600,000 people in the UK.
Events take place in Corby near The Cube on 30th June (10am-1pm) and in Northampton on Market Square on Friday 1st July (10am-2pm) where NAB’s Mobile Sight Centre will be stationed and staff will be giving out information and talking to people about their eyesight.
Stefanie Weldon, NAB Marketing Manager said:
“AMD is becoming more common because it’s largely a condition associated with ageing. It is a devastating condition, with late-stage macular degeneration, you can’t see faces, you can’t read, you can’t see the food on your plate and you can’t drive. “While AMD is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK many people are unaware of the condition. We hope the events planned during Macular Week will help raise awareness and help more people understand the importance of looking after their eyes.”
As well as raising awareness the week aims to highlight the importance of looking after your eyes as well as raising funds for research, which could eventually help to find a cure for macular disease.
If you would like to find out more about services provided by Northamptonshire Association for the Blind please call our Helpline: 01604 719193.
NAB’s Sight Saving Tips
- Eat right for good sight. Most of us have no idea that what we eat can affect how well we see, however, eye-friendly nutrients found in many fruit and vegetables and fatty acids derived from fish, nuts and oils can all help protect your sight.
- Quit smoking. Smokers have a significantly greater risk of sight loss than non-smokers.
- Watch your weight. More than half of all British adults are overweight however maintaining a healthy weight helps preserve macula pigment density, which in turn, helps protect the retina against the breakdown of cells and the onset of AMD.
- Get fit. Aerobic exercise can help increase oxygen supplies to the optic nerve and lower any pressure that builds up in the eye.
- Cover up. Exposure to UV light increases your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Be screen smart. On average we spend a staggering 35 hours a week staring at a computer screen so it’s no surprise that 90 per cent of us say we experience screen fatigue – tired or irritated eyes, blurred vision, headaches and poor colour perception.
- And, don’t forget to book a sight test if you haven’t had one in the last two years.