Storrington group highlights fight against leading cause of sight loss

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A Storrington-based support group for people living with the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK will be highlighting the impact of living with macular disease, as part of a national awareness week.

Macular Week runs from Monday 20 to Sunday 26 June and aims to raise awareness of the impact of macular disease, a condition which affects nearly 1.5 million people in the UK, including people living in and around Storrington. The disease can have a devastating effect on people’s lives, often leaving them unable to drive, read or see faces.

The Storrington support group is one of 400 across the UK organised by national sight loss charity the Macular Society, to help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation caused by the condition.

The group’s volunteers will be running their own stall, at the Storrington Community Market on Friday 24 June, from 9.45am until 11.15am. Their aim is to mark the awareness week by sharing information, and highlighting the importance of funding vital research.

Stella Black, Regional Manager for South East England, 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 its 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.”

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.

The most common type of macular disease is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), mainly affecting people over the age of 55. Due to our ageing population, the number of older people living with the condition is set to double by 2050.

Stella Black added:

“Today, more and more people are being diagnosed with macular disease. 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. 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.”

Each month the Storrington group invites guest speakers on a variety of subjects, including macular conditions and the impact on daily lives. The meetings are also social occasions where people can chat over a cup of tea.

For more information about the Storrington support group, to become a member, or to confirm your attendance for the next support group meeting, please contact Philippa Wrightson on 01903 743182. The Storrington group meet every fourth Tuesday of the month, from 2pm until 4pm. The meeting location is – The Old School, School Lane, PULBOROUGH, West Sussex, RH20 4LL, UK.

For more information on macular disease, call the Macular Society on 0300 3030 111 or email help@macularsociety.org

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