Early de­tec­tion saves sight

Katikati Advertiser - - Your Community Voice -

Mac­u­lar De­gen­er­a­tion (MD) is the lead­ing cause of blind­ness in this coun­try with one in seven peo­ple over 50 years of age hav­ing some ev­i­dence of it and the in­ci­dence in­creases with age. Many peo­ple dis­miss the early warn­ing signs of MD, ac­cept­ing vi­sion loss as a nor­mal part of the age­ing process.

MD af­fects the cen­tral vi­sion im­pact­ing on the abil­ity to drive, read, watch tele­vi­sion, un­der­take many hob­bies and recog­nise faces. Loss of vi­sion im­pacts on life­style and in­de­pen­dent age­ing, and is as­so­ci­ated with the risks of falls and frac­tur­ing hips, de­vel­op­ing de­pres­sion, in­abil­ity to ac­cess health ser­vices and ear­lier ad­mis­sion to nurs­ing homes.

New Zealand is at the cusp of the most sig­nif­i­cant de­mo­graphic change of the 21st cen­tury. By 2030, one in four peo­ple will be over 65. This group will also be liv­ing for longer than pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions and 41 per cent of them do not know about this eye dis­ease.

To halt a po­ten­tial epi­demic of blind­ness, peo­ple need to be proac­tive to save sight so that New Zealan­ders can live well in old age. Mac­u­lar De­gen­er­a­tion NZ (MDNZ) is a char­i­ta­ble trust aim­ing to re­duce the in­ci­dence and im­pact of MD in New Zealand, in­crease aware­ness and pro­mote early de­tec­tion to the 1.5 mil­lion at-risk New Zealan­ders.

This Satur­day MDNZ will host a free sem­i­nar in Katikati where oph­thal­mol­o­gist Dr An­drew Thomp­son will dis­pel myths and mis­un­der­stand­ings about this chronic eye dis­ease and pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on the lat­est treat­ments and the man­age­ment of mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion.

In­for­ma­tion packs will be avail­able on the day.

Where: St Paul’s Pres­by­te­rian Church, Cnr Main Rd and Mul­gan Street, Katikati at 10am11.30am. To reg­is­ter phone 0800 MACULA (622 852) or email [email protected]

Mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion can cause loss of cen­tral vi­sion mean­ing loss of abil­ity to drive or recog­nise faces.

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