Putting a spotlight on macular degeneration – one of the most common causes of sight loss
As the UK gets set to welcome Macular Week (26 June – 2 July), we’re hitting the roads in our Vision Van, targeting age-related macular degeneration (AMD) hotspots.
More than 600,000 people in the UK suffer with AMD and another 200 cases are detected every day. Research from our charity partner, The Macular Society, suggests, because of our ageing population, in the coming decades we are facing an epidemic in AMD – by 2050 the number of sufferers could reach 1.3m.
As the name suggests, AMD overwhelmingly affects older people. The condition causes loss of central vision and is largely untreatable. While age is the most common risk factor of AMD, smoking, UV damage and genes can also impact who develops it.
We know from conversations with our customers, discussions with our peers and through leading research, that sight is the sense most people value over any other – yet still many people don’t maintain regular eye tests which could help detect conditions like macular degeneration.
That’s why we’re taking our high tech mobile testing unit, the Vision Van, on the roads again. This time we’re targeting places with a large population of people who could be at risk of AMD – areas with an increased percentage of people aged over 65, those with large volumes of smokers and places above the national average, in terms of number of people living with AMD.
At each van location, our expert optometrists will give free 30-minute sight checks and for those who are unable to get to the van, we’re sharing a free downloadable eye test voucher, which can be redeemed in any of our stores, until 31 July 2017.
Day one, Monday 26th June, takes the van to Boston’s Market Place before working its way to Huddersfield, Blackpool and Wrexham. The van completes its tour back in the East Midlands, with Leicester’s St Peter’s Square the final stop on Friday 30th.
We’ve been touring our Vision Van for almost three years now – driving essential eye health messages and trying to encourage regular sight testing for people of all ages. And, it’s really working! The feedback we have from Van visitors is always of appreciation and genuine interest, and we hope this Macular Week we can shine an extremely bright spotlight on the devastating condition while encouraging anyone putting off a sight check to go and have one, on us.