Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of sight loss in the developed world. In the UK, there are more than 600,000 people affected by AMD. With nearly 200 new cases identified each day, that number is set to double in the next 20 years.
The Macular Society is the leading charitable trust providing support to those who suffer from macular degeneration. Their current aim is to raise £100,000 to get their 2019 research program off to a flying start. And to help them achieve that aim, we're donating £1 to the Society for every eye test booked this Christmas.
The macula is a small area of the retina on which light rays entering the eye are focused, resulting in clear central vision.
Deterioration of the macula results in the loss of central vision and usually occurs in both eyes. Most people experience no symptoms in the early stages, but as the macular cells degenerate, vision may become blurred or distorted and objects change shape, size or colour. The most common form of this painless condition is age-related macular degeneration, usually affecting people aged 65 and over.
You can find out more about macular degeneration in our Eye Health section.
Progression of AMD from normal vision to late stage macular degeneration.
Not enough is known about why people get AMD. It is currently incurable and largely untreatable. However, there is exciting work going on and many researchers believe a solution to AMD is possible.
Despite the fact that our ageing society faces an epidemic of AMD in coming decades, funding for research into macular disease lags far behind that for other conditions, such as Alzheimer's. But there are compelling reasons why research into macular disease should have more investment.
No one should lose the life they love when they lose their sight. By donating £1 with every eye test booked over Christmas, we're playing a part in funding the research that will one day find a cure.