'Never Miss the Wonder' campaign launched for Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Week 2016

Never Miss the Wonder Campaign Launched to Highlight the Importance of Testing for Age-Related Macular Degeneration to Preserve Vision

  • Nationwide photograph competition announced to find the wonders in everyday life
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness for over 50s in Ireland
  • Ambassador Mary Kennedy urges people over 50 to appreciate the wonders in their everyday lives and avail of free AMD eye test

A campaign to encourage those aged 50 and over to ‘Never Miss the Wonder’ has been launched to mark Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Week, which runs from 19th – 25th September. A serious eye disease, Age-Related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness for people aged over 50 in Ireland. The initiative aims to highlight the importance of getting regular eye tests to protect eyesight and prevent sight loss.

Special moments in life can often be taken for granted – from things as simple as watching grandchildren play, to seeing extraordinary sights such as iconic wonders of the world. AMD Ambassador Mary Kennedy was on hand to officially launch the ‘Never Miss the Wonder’ photograph competition for this year's campaign to highlight the wonders in everyday life, and encourage discussion on the potential impact of AMD on quality of life. A selection of winning entries will be created into a specially-designed photobook and displayed at a launch event to kick off AMD Awareness Week.

Now in its ninth year, AMD Awareness Week is a nationwide health initiative supported by the Irish College of Ophthalmologists and patient support groups.  A dedicated mobile testing van will travel nationwide during AMD Awareness Week offering free AMD eye tests and information to the public. A full list of the free eye testing locations can be found at www.AMD.ie .and participating eye doctors across the country will see referrals.

Dr Mark Cahill, Consultant eye surgeon, and spokesperson for the Irish College of Ophthalmologists said, “Age-related Macular Degeneration is one of the most common causes of sight loss in older adults in Ireland however it is a manageable and treatable eye disease. The outcome for patients with AMD has greatly improved with modern treatment in the past decade, and a condition that would have led to certain sight loss in the past, thankfully does not hold such a fearful outlook for patients. If you are over 50, it is important to get your eyes checked by a medical professional regularly. This is particularly important if there is a family history of eye disease or if you notice any change in your vision. It is also important to remind people that positive lifestyle changes can have a big impact and help to slow the progression or onset of AMD, like giving up smoking, eating a healthy diet rich in leafy greens and exercising regularly."

Loretto Callaghan, Managing Director, Novartis Ireland said, “This year’s AMD Awareness Week campaign is about reminding people to appreciate what they see around them, and engage in the wonder of their everyday lives. We often take our vision for granted, until problems start and it can often be accepted as part of growing older.  By inviting people to submit images of the wonders in their lives we’re encouraging them to be mindful of the need to take care of their eyesight and get their eyes tested regularly. If you think you, or someone close to you, is experiencing symptoms of AMD, visit the free Novartis mobile testing unit, or your local eye specialist.”

About Age-related Macular Degeneration:

The Novartis AMD mobile testing unit will visit the following locations during AMD Awareness Week:

Dublin on Tuesday, 20th September:

  • County Library Tallaght, Library Square, Tallaght, from 10am – 1pm
  • Lexicon Library, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin from 2pm – 6pm

Galway on Wednesday, 21st September:

  • Ballybane Library, Castlepark Road, Ballybane, Galway from 10am – 1pm
  • Westside Shopping Centre, Galway from 2pm – 6pm

Limerick on Thursday, September 22:

  • Castletroy Golf Club, Golf Links Road, Castletroy, Limerick from 10am – 1pm
  • Junction of O'Connell Street and Thomas Street, Limerick from 2pm – 6pm

Waterford on Friday, September 23:

  • Waterford Golf Club, Newrath, Waterford from 10am – 1pm
  • Ardkeen Shopping Centre, Waterford from 2pm – 6pm

Cork on Saturday, September 24:

  • Mahon Point Shopping Centre, Link Road, Co. Cork from 10am – 1pm
  • Cork City Library, 57-61 Grand Parade, Cork from 2pm to 6pm

31st August 2016