Sufferers of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) will be familiar with its symptoms. However, many people may have never heard of the condition, which seriously affects the eyesight in elderly people.
That is why BBC show EastEnders has decided to shine a light on it and has teamed up with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to give an accurate and honest portrayal of someone suffering with AMD.
Last month, viewers saw veteran character Dorothy Branning losing her vision, and after plucking up the courage to visit the doctor with help from her pal Patrick Truman, she was diagnosed with wet AMD last week.
A spokesperson for RNIB said: “Unfortunately, this is a situation many older people face, and not everyone has a good friend like Patrick to push them in the right direction towards getting the help they need.”
Dot, as the character is affectionately known, has since received an injection inside the eye, which is intended to stop new blood cells forming. These tend to swell and bleed and are the cause of damage to the central vision.
Despite one in ten people over the age of 65 living with AMD, it is a condition that is rarely discussed, and therefore, many people may have never heard of it and might not know what support is available.
The BBC has helped raise awareness of the condition, which is incredibly important as it affects as many as 600,000 in the UK.
Working closely with the RNIB, the broadcast corporation has been able to portray the degeneration of Dot’s vision accurately. The organisation has provided EastEnders with treatment options, facts, and advice on the storyline as much-loved Dot copes with her sight loss.
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