This year’s AMD Awareness Week is running from September 22-30 to promote early detection of the signs of AMD (age-related macular degeneration ), the most common cause of registered blindness in Ireland.
AMD is the principal cause of sight loss for people over the age of 50 in the western world and although it is not as well known as other eye diseases such as cataracts or glaucoma, it is thought to affect one in 10 Irish people over the age of 50.
Throughout the week, free testing and information will be available to detect the early signs of AMD at a range of participating independent opticians/optometrists in Westmeath.
Over 50s are encouraged to visit www.AMD.ie to find out more about the eye condition and the free testing locations in their area throughout the week.
The NCBI (National Council for the Blind of Ireland ), Fighting Blindness, the Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO ), and the Association of Optometrists Ireland (AOI ), supported by Novartis, are working together to increase public awareness of AMD and to highlight the importance of regular testing to identify early signs of the condition.
The most obvious symptoms of AMD are distortion and blurring in the centre of vision and the earlier a person identifies that they have a problem with their sight, the sooner they can make the adjustments which will help them maintain a full and independent life.