Sight loss awareness event to take place in Leyburn

An event aimed at raising awareness of the most common cause of sight loss in the UK is taking place in Leyburn.

The Leyburn Macular Support Group, in partnership with the Macular Society, has organised an open day, which takes place on Wednesday March 20, from 10.30am to 1pm, at the Friends Meeting House, 7 Grove Square, Leyburn DL8 5AE.

The event will offer information about age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

It will also highlight the wide range of support available to people living in the local area with AMD and other macular conditions.

On the day, Macular Society staff and members of the Leyburn Macular Support Group will be on hand to talk to visitors about the group’s activities, how it helps people with macular conditions living locally and additional support available in the area for people with vision loss.

The group meets at the Friends Meeting House, from 10.15am-12.15pm, on the third Wednesday of each month. It is one of more than 400 macular support groups all over the UK and offers information, encouragement and friendship to people with macular disease.

In addition, representatives from organisations including Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Deafblind UK and Leyburn-based optometrist RA Orkney, will be in attendance to provide information on sight loss support services available locally.

Macular disease is the biggest cause of blindness in the UK. Nearly 1.5 million people are currently affected and many more are at risk.

The disease can have a devastating effect on people’s lives, leaving them unable to drive, read or see faces. Many people affected describe losing their sight as being similar to bereavement.

There is still no cure and most types of the disease are not treatable. AMD is the most common form of macular disease, affecting more than 600,000 people, usually over the age of 50.

Joanne Reader, Macular Society regional manager, said: “Events like these are a great way to raise awareness of macular disease and highlight the support and help offered by the group.

“We would like anyone affected by macular disease to come along and meet others in the same situation.

“It’s good to be able to learn from each other’s experiences and tips. Peer to peer support can be so helpful – our groups can really help people increase in confidence and become more independent.

“If you have AMD or any other macular condition, or if you have a friend or family member who has been affected by sight problems, then please come and see us on 20 March to find out more, or come to one of our monthly meetings. Friends, family and carers are welcome to join us too.”

For more information about the Leyburn Macular Support Group, please contact Joanne Reader on 07376 398 916, or email joanne.reader@macularsociety.org

For general information on macular disease, call the Macular Society on 0300 3030 111 or email help@macularsociety.org