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Toby joins RNIB’s “Spot the Signs” campaign to fight against avoidable sight loss

Toby Perkins MP is joining the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to urge local people in Chesterfield to learn how to spot the signs of wet AMD, the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK so that they can act quickly.

RNIB can help you understand the early signs of wet AMD – just Google “Spot the Signs”.

Toby and Big BenPerkins said:

“Lack of awareness is risking hundreds of local people’s sight each year and I hope I can do my bit to promote understanding of this problem. Nearly half of adults have never heard of AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) and even fewer – 36% – would make an appointment with their GP or optician straight away if they started experiencing blurry vision or wavy lines.”

“I would encourage all local people who think they may have a problem with their sight to find information on the RNIB website or go to see their GP early.”

Toby Perkins MP is supporting RNIB’s ‘Spot the signs’ campaign to encourage over 50s to recognise the early signs of AMD. These are:

– Straight lines start to appear wavy, curved or distorted.
– Small print becomes difficult to read even when wearing reading glasses
– People’s faces start to appear blurry.

There are two main types of AMD, wet and dry. There is no current treatment for dry AMD but sight saving treatment is available for the wet type if diagnosed in time.

About 40,000 people develop wet AMD each year, however both the public and medical profession are failing to recognise the urgency needed to diagnose and treat the condition which can take your eyesight in as little as three months.

Research commissioned by RNIB, as part of its wider Save our Sight (SOS) campaign, found that many patients were not aware of the symptoms of wet AMD or the need for urgent treatment.

RNIB’s research report – Don’t lose sight! Don’t delay! – reveals:

Nearly 60 per cent of patients were unaware of the condition despite having dry AMD – a more gradual loss of sight which cannot be treated but can develop into the wet form.

Just under 70 per cent of patients were not diagnosed within seven days – in accordance with professional guidance – increasing their chances of permanently losing their central vision. Smoking is a risk factor, with smokers twice as likely to develop AMD than non-smokers. Studies show that stopping smoking can reduce your risk of developing AMD.

Steve Winyard, Head of Policy and campaigns at RNIB, said:

“We welcome the support of Toby Perkins MP in raising awareness of the signs of wet AMD. Losing your central vision can have profound consequences, with many people unable to carry out basic tasks such as driving, chopping vegetables, reading a newspaper or writing a shopping list. However, it doesn’t have to be this way and people need to be aware of the early sign of wet AMD so they can act quickly and avoid sight loss.”

“We’re encouraging people over 50 and the medical profession to find out how to spot the signs of wet AMD and understand why it’s important to act quickly. About 40,000 people develop wet AMD each year but the deterioration of your sight can be managed with treatment, if caught in time.”

To find out more on how to Spot the signs of AMD and other eye diseases visit www.rnibspotthesigns.org.uk or call RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999.

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Welcome

I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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Tel: 01246 386286
Email: toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF

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