Thursday, February 19, 2009

Eye campaign focuses on AMD perils

A CAMPAIGN of education has been launched after a survey revealed thousands of people in Cardiff are at risk of losing their sight because of ignorance over the symptoms of the leading cause of blindness.

Checks among over-50s revealed there is confusion around the symptoms and risk factors of age-related macular degeneration – AMD – with one in three knowing nothing about the condition.

Chris Blyth, consultant eye surgeon at Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales, said: “Thousands are at risk of late diagnosis. In some cases this will lead to avoidable sight loss.

“I strongly urge people who experience symptoms of AMD to visit their optician without delay. I also recommend regular eye health checks. Finally, the best way to reduce your risk of getting AMD is not to smoke.”

The charity say that AMD is more likely to affect people aged 55 and over and is on the increase. Currently 5% of the population in Cardiff have AMD but eight out of 10 people could not identify the symptoms such as blurred vision and distortion.

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