NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE BLIND IN IRELAND
SEEING THE FUTURE WITH SIGHT LOSS
In Ireland, AMD, (Age Related Macular Degeneration) is the leading cause of sight loss in the over 50’s, with thousands of people living with the condition. The condition is more prevalent as one ages and affects the macula .There are two forms, Wet and Dry, which is the most common form. Most people develop the dry form of AMD. Dry, which is currently untreatable, develops slowly but can lead to loss of central vision. Wet is less common but it can cause rapid sight loss. It can be treated but early diagnosis is vital.
AMD Awareness Week, which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary, takes place from the 25th – 30th September with Novartis Testing Units offering free tests. Chris White, CEO NCBI says “NCBI wants to encourage everyone over the age of 50 to take advantage of the free AMD tests taking place this week. The test only takes a couple of minutes and could save your sight. Our nationwide network of NCBI shops will be hosting coffee mornings for AMD Awareness Week to raise its profile amongst the public and to encourage discussion around this very important health initiative. Together we can make the 10th AMD Awareness Week the most successful yet”.
Dublin – Tuesday 26th September:
• County Library Tallaght, Library Square, Tallaght, Dublin 24 from 10am – 1pm
• Lexicon Library, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin from 2pm – 6pm
Waterford – Wednesday 27th September:
• Waterford Health Park , Slievekeale Road , Waterford from 10am – 1pm
• Outside Tesco, Ardkeen Shopping Centre, Waterford from 2pm – 6pm
Limerick – Thursday 28th September:
• Castletroy Golf Club, Golf Links Road, Castletroy, Co. Limerick from 10am – 1pm
• Junction of O’Connell Street and Thomas Street, Limerick from 2pm – 6pm
Galway – Wednesday 29th September:
• Ballybane Library, Castlepark Road, Ballybane, Galway from 10am – 1pm
• West Side Shopping Centre, Galway from 2pm – 6pm
Cork – Saturday 30th of September:
• Cork Golf Club, LittleIsland from 10am to 1pm
• Mahon Point Shopping Centre, Link Road, Co. Cork from 2pm to 6pm
As the national sight loss agency the NCBI is there for each person, irrespective of the level of sight loss. 45 year old Leo Hynes from Tuam was diagnosed with Wet AMD a number of years ago. One day when working on one of his much loved Sudoku puzzles, Leo noticed something wrong with his right eye and he knew immediately that it was potentially serious. He takes up the story. “When I moved my eye the curve of the line moved with me and I knew something wasn’t right”.
“I immediately contacted my GP who make an appointment for me to see a Specialist. Tests were done and I was diagnosed with Wet AMD. I was started on a course of injections and was warned not to take part in any sport for 3 months”.
Since then the past 8 years have been a series of ups and downs for Leo. However he says that while he has gone through the whole gamut of emotions, the NCBI has been a constant source of support, advice and vitally, hope.
“I availed of the counselling and the support group, talking is key, nothing seems as bad once it is talked out. It is so important to meet with others in the same situation. I also have picked up tips and suggestions to make life easier, I use the magnifiers and other visual aids and it all helps”.
“Just knowing that I can turn to the NCBI is a source of strength and hope, things would be so much blacker without it”.