We must stop macular disease in its tracks

Posted: Tuesday 18 June 2019

Macular Week starts on Monday. This year we will be focusing on the importance of research.

Our eye sight is precious. Many studies show that people fear sight loss more than serious illnesses like diabetes or even the loss of a limb. The cost of sight loss to individuals and to society as a whole is vast. Yet, eye research is a low priority and as a result is shockingly underfunded.

It is the Macular Society’s duty and responsibility to work to find a cure for macular disease and we’re dedicated to this, but we cannot do this alone. That is why this year’s Macular Week will be highlighting why funding more research is the only way we are going to beat macular disease for good.

Macular disease is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK, with around 300 people diagnosed every day. It can affect people of any age — even children.

Cathy Yelf, chief executive of the Macular Society, said: “Macular disease is cruel and isolating. It steals your sight, your confidence, your independence, and your ability to do the things you love. Day to day we hear from people about the devastating impact it has on their lives – taking away their dreams and plans for the future.

“And yet, despite the devastating impact, too little is known about its causes and for the majority of people affected there is not even a treatment, let alone a cure.

“Today, more and more people are being diagnosed with macular disease. In fact, the number of older people living with the condition is set to double in the next 20 years. It is already a major public health crisis —with far more people living with macular disease than dementia.

“We must stop it in its tracks.”

Throughout Macular Week, which runs until Sunday 30 June, we will be sharing the story of one person, Kelly and her family. Kelly has an inherited form of macular disease, which has had a huge impact on her and her young sons.  

We will also be speaking to leading researcher Dr Amanda Carr working at University College London about why she is so passionate about finding a cure for macular disease.