Wednesday, 18 September, 2013 –
World Sight Day is a global initiative of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) with the aim to raise global attention to the current reality of 300 million people living with blindness and vision impairments worldwide. Macular Degeneration (MD) is a chronic eye disease that affects the central vision and one in seven New Zealanders over the age of 50 will get it. The incidence of MD in New Zealand is increasing and by 2030, incidence levels are expected to increase by 70 per cent.
To make people aware of the importance of early detection, Macular Degeneration New Zealand (MDNZ) is encouraging Kiwis across the country, who are aged over 50, to have their macula checked.
Dr Dianne Sharp, Ophthalmologist and Chairperson of MDNZ, says: “Macular degeneration affects so many people in New Zealand and we’ve made it our mission to raise awareness of the disease. We support the awareness raising initiative of World Sight Day and encourage all New Zealanders to have their eye health checked”.
“Those at high risk of developing macular degeneration include people over the age of 50, smokers and people with a family history of macular degeneration. Early detection and a healthy diet and lifestyle can slow down the disease’s progression, massively”.
On 10 October Optometrists around New Zealand will be raising awareness and seeking gold coin donations to support the work of MDNZ. Essilor NZ is supporting this fundraising initiative by providing wrist bands to all who give to this worthy cause. As a leader in the ophthalmic industry Essilor’s mission is to enable as many people as possible to live a better life through better sight and to have the public’s attention on the consequences of poor vision.
This is great advise not only for New Zealanders but for everyone around the world.