Why we’re backing the RNIB’s Spot the Signs campaign

Each day it is estimated that 100 people in the UK begin to lose their sight. The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is campaigning for over 50s to have their eyesight examined in order to detect the earlier signs of eye disease such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in their Spot the Signs campaign.

The focus of the campaign is to raise public awareness surrounding the signs and symptoms of AMD and to highlight the methods and medications which can be taken in order to slow the progression, and even reverse some effects, of this disease.

This video from the RNIB explains further:

“Age-related macular degeneration can damage your sight in just three months. If you’re over 50, you’re most at risk.” – RNIB

Download the information pack

As part of the ‘spot the signs’ campaign the RNIB have released a downloadable information pack filled with advice on how to detect the development of a variety of eye diseases.

The pack includes information which allows a person to conduct quick and simple tests in order to detect these conditions themselves, as well as advice on what to do next if a person believes they are suffering from an eye disease.

The first signs of AMD are usually a decline in the ability to see fine details. Although the symptoms are varied the RNIB have defined three common warning signs:

  • Blurred vision – A painless blurring in the centre of vision, increasing over time
  • Distorted vision – Straight lines appear curved or wavy, particularly in the vision’s centre
  • Unclear vision – Print becomes difficult to read, even with the aid of reading glasses.

“People must recognise that there is an opportunity of avoiding sight loss from AMD by getting treatment quickly, like I did.” – Sheila, 77

It is an assumption that loss of sight is part of old age, leading to people becoming increasingly accepting of poor vision as they age. Due to this the early signs of AMD are often ignored and explained as part of the aging process leading to 50% of AMD sufferers to only seek medical attention in the later stages of the disease.

Another factor contributing to late diagnosis is that AMD does not always appear obvious to the affected person. It is therefore essential that people regularly visit their optician for an eye test, especially if they fall into the over 50s high-risk category.

AMD symptom blurred visionFast, reliable screening with MPS II

By screening patients with the MPS II macular pigment screener eye-care professionals are able to detect the risk of AMD within 90 seconds.

The quick, reliable test could detect the signs of AMD in those early stages and save a person’s sight.

Through these screenings, optometrists are able to dispense the correct advice and medication, like the AREDS formulation, which could lead to an unknowing AMD sufferer partially, or even fully, regaining their sight.

“As a patient with only one functional eye with central vision I was advised to get my macular pigment checked which, in addition to another risk factor, revealed that I needed to start taking nutritional supplements,” commented an MPS II customer. “I am delighted that further testing of my macular pigment with the MPS II has revealed that my macular pigment has increased and my risk of developing AMD is reduced. I hope other patients like me are offered this enhanced technology.”

Save your sight, spot the signs. It is never too late to seek medical advice about vision loss and doing so could be a vital step in preventing blindness.

More information

Visit the website for the RNIB and their Spot the Signs campaign.

Download the RNIB information pack for more details on eye diseases and how to prevent them.

To discover how the MPS II could benefit your practice please visit the ophthalmics pages on the Elektron Technology website.

[Picture Credit: RNIB]

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