An eye with late stage exudative AMD

AMD awareness week

Fundus Photograph showing age changes at the posterior poleThis week, – the 14th to the 20th of September is once again AMD awareness week. This week is about increasing the awareness of Age Related Macular Degeneration, and the two types which can affect us.

The most aggressive form is the Wet (Exudative) form, rare in the under 50s, which can suddenly cause a very serious drop in vision in the affected eye, though there are almost always warnings which may not be noticed. Distortion in the vision of one eye is a “Red flag” that you should be checked urgently. To assess your eyes individually for distortion, you should download and print our Amsler grid available here. Regularly check your vision with the grid.

There is also a more slowly developing “dry” form of AMD which would normally be detected in a routine test.

McLeish Optometrists, as a member of the Association of Optometrists in Ireland, will be offering AMD screening free of charge for this week. However this is not a full eye examination – it is only a screening for AMD signs and symptoms. It is not a replacement for a full and normal eye test.

If you have become aware of the condition called AMD because of this week, happy days! (Assuming it is not because you have it!!)

But if, like the gentleman I had in today, you are calling for a “free test”, pretty much because it is a free test and it has been nearly 5 years since you were last tested, perhaps you should consider booking in for a more thorough full eye test rather than a free screening? Unfortunately, many eye exams do detect issues, sometimes resulting in hospital referrals, some of them urgent – even emergency referrals, and not all of them are due to the aggressive type of AMD, and not all of them are in the over 50s!

Look after your sight and your health- get your eyes checked on a regular basis.

Many people are entitled to an eye examination free of charge, either because of PRSI payments or Medical Card entitlement. For the self employed, as ever there is no help!

To book an appointment, contact us here.

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