Salthill optician Andrea Concannon has set up a screening service for macular degeneration at her practice.
The condition is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in over 50s. It affects one in 10 people and can rob them of their central vision.There are two types of macular degeneration - the dry form which can cause a slow degeneration in the vision or the more severe wet type which causes sudden vision loss.
Ms Concannon says risk factors include a positive family history, smoking, high cholesterol and increasing age.
“Women are more susceptible also as are people with lower pigment levels in the eye. There are some preventative measures you can take such as regular eye examinations. Nutrient supplements specific for the eyes taken on a daily basis have shown to - increase the protective pigment in the back of the eyes which may halt the development and /or progression of the disease.”
She says the state-of-the art macuscope equipment available at her practice can measure individual pigment levels in the macula and thus identify people at greater risk.For further information telephone (091 ) 586748.