Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the biggest cause of blindness here in the UK, with over 600,000 people affected – but unless steps are taken now to fund vital medical research, 400 new cases of the condition could be diagnosed by the year 2050, with 1.3 million people suffering as a result.
Research from the Macular Society, featured by the Daily Express, highlighted that while £22.7 million was spent on eye disease medical research in 2014, just £6 million of this was directed towards AMD.
Chief executive of the organisation Cathy Yelf was quoted by the news source as saying: “Unless strong action is taken right away we will be facing an epidemic in the decades to come. AMD is almost as prevalent as dementia and represents a huge cost, care and societal burden, yet it does not receive a level of research funding proportionate to its impact.
“Alongside the devastating personal consequences of sight loss, AMD costs the UK £1.6 billion annually. The drug costs alone are now more than £200 million a year and the number of people with AMD is expected to double by 2050.”
While macular degeneration does affect different people in different ways, there are a few common symptoms to look out for. These include blurry vision or gaps in your sight, straight lines like door frames appearing distorted or bent, fading colours, dark spots in the centre of your vision and words disappearing while you’re reading.
Our ageing society means that an increasing number of people are developing AMD and it can be incredibly debilitating and devastating for those whose eyesight does start to deteriorate. This is why more funds are required so urgently in order to find a cure.
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