With the recent news that a macular condition has led much-loved cricket commentator Henry Blofeld to announce his retirement, BBR Optometry is urging patients and members of the wider community to raise awareness about the fact this condition can lead to sight loss.
Blowers, as he is affectionately known, was diagnosed with a macular condition in 2009 and as a patron of the Macular Society he will be supporting this year’s theme of smoking and sight loss.
Nick Rumney, BBR Optometry chairman, says: “Many people are aware that smoking causes lung cancer but not many realise that it can also cause blindness.
“Smokers are up to four times more likely than non-smokers to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and smokers with a genetic predisposition to AMD are eight times more likely to get the condition so the best advice would be to quit the habit now.
“Figures from the Macular Society show that 1,000 patients each month are diagnosed with the disease so it is vital that everyone ensures they have regular eye tests and even more so if they are in the high risk group such as smokers.
“Here at BBR Optometry we have an established reputation for providing the most comprehensive examinations possible, using the very latest ophthalmic equipment.
“Appointments do not focus solely on the patient’s vision but they also look closely at any changes to the eye that might indicate the onset of conditions such as macular degeneration as early diagnosis ensures the best outcomes for patients.
“Early there is still so much that can done on a wider scale in terms of raising awareness, signposting people to specialised care, facilitating an initial diagnosis and then managing referral and rehabilitation,” he added.
Macular Week runs from June 26 to July 2 and is all about increasing awareness of macular disease, as well as highlighting the importance of research funding which could eventually help to find a cure for macular disease.
Find out more here.