SUPPORTING RNIB ‘Spot the Signs’ campaign

Eye TestsAndrew Gwynne MP is joining the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to urge constituents in Denton and Reddish to learn how to spot the signs of wet AMD, the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK , so they can act quickly.

RNIB can help you understand the early signs of wet AMD – just google Spot the Signs.

Lack of awareness is risking thousands of people’s sight each year. Nearly half of adults (48 per cent) have never heard of Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and only just over a third of adults (36 per cent) would make an appointment with their GP or optician straight away if they started experiencing blurry vision or wavy lines.

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“I am very happy to support the “Spot the signs” campaign; it’s important that any problems with the eyes are picked up and treated as soon as possible to help prevent any further sight loss.”

Andrew Gwynne MP is supporting RNIB’s ‘Spot the signs’ campaign to encourage over 50s to recognise the early signs of AMD. These are:

•        Straight lines start to appear wavy, curved or distorted.

•        Small print becomes difficult to read even when wearing reading glasses

•        People’s faces start to appear blurry.

There are two main types of AMD, wet and dry. There is no current treatment for dry AMD but sight saving treatment is available for the wet type if diagnosed in time.

About 40,000 people develop wet AMD each year, however both the public and medical profession are failing to recognise the urgency needed to diagnose and treat the condition which can take your eye sight in as little as three months.

Research commissioned by RNIB, as part of its wider Save our Sight (SOS) campaign, found that many patients were not aware of the symptoms of wet AMD or the need for urgent treatment.

RNIB’s research report – Don’t lose sight! Don’t delay! – reveals:

Nearly 60 per cent of patients were unaware of the condition despite having dry AMD – a more gradual loss of sight which cannot be treated but can develop into the wet form.

Just under 70 per cent of patients were not diagnosed within seven days – in accordance with professional guidance – increasing their chances of permanently losing their central vision Smoking is a risk factor, with smokers twice as likely to develop AMD than non-smokers. Studies show that stopping smoking can reduce your risk of developing AMD.

Steve Winyard, Head of Policy and campaigns at RNIB, said:

“We welcome the support of Andrew Gwynne MP in raising awareness of the signs of wet AMD. Losing your central vision can have profound consequences, with many people unable to carry out basic tasks such as driving, chopping vegetables, reading a newspaper or writing a shopping list. However, it doesn’t have to be this way and people need to be aware of the early sign of wet AMD so they can act quickly and avoid sight loss.”

“We’re encouraging people over 50 and the medical profession to find out how to spot the signs of wet AMD and understand why it’s important to act quickly. About 40,000 people develop wet AMD each year but the deterioration of your sight can be managed with treatment, if caught in time.”

To find out more on how to Spot the signs of AMD and other eye diseases visit www.rnibspotthesigns.org.uk or call RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999.

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