This week marks the 11th annual Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) awareness week, which encourages people over 50 to get regular eye tests and visit their eye care specialists at the first sign of vision deterioration.
More than 100,000 people in Ireland aged 50+ are living with AMD and over 7,000 new cases of the condition are diagnosed each year. This is the #1 cause of sight loss in Ireland for over 50’s, and yet a large proportion of Irish people are still not up to speed on the condition.
Without awareness, it’s hard to know the tale-tell signs to look out for, and how to prevent any further eye damage and ultimately save sight. The symptoms for the early stages of AMD include vision distortion and blurring and, unfortunately, these symptoms can often go unrecognised for years, causing irreversible damage down the line.
Sightsee With Me
To counteract this lack of awareness, Novartis has teamed up with the Association of Optometrists Ireland, Fighting Blindness, the Irish College of Ophthalmologists, and the National Council for the Blind to incorporate the theme Sightsee With Me for this year’s AMD campaign.
“The Sightsee With Me campaign is an important reminder to consider the lasting memories we create with loved ones through sightseeing and to get our eyes tested regularly to continue to enjoy these special moments.”
Throughout this week, Novartis is offering free AMD eye testing on an open top Sightsee With Me bus that will be travelling around the country, encouraging people to get AMD eye tests in order to ensure they continue to see the things they love. There will be other nationwide events and initiatives taking place through the campaign, which you can find out about here.
Speaking at the launch, the 2018 AMD ambassador, actress and comedian Deirdre O’Kane said: “Having recently turned 50, I’ve become really aware that now more than ever I need to think about my health. Protecting our eyesight is such an important priority, I’d hate to miss out on seeing the things I love! The Sightsee With Me campaign is an important reminder to consider the lasting memories we create with loved ones through sightseeing and to get our eyes tested regularly to continue to enjoy these special moments.”
AMD ambassador, Deirdre O’Kane
Above all, if you notice any change in your sight or if there is a history of AMD in your family, it is important to be vigilant and get your eyes tested regularly. The earlier the detection, the greater your chances at preventing irreversible damage and ensuring that you have the best vision possible as you grow older.
For more information and testing locations visit www.AMD.ie.
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