A Guide to Conditions of the Retina

Fighting Blindness, supported by Bayer Healthcare and endorsed by the Irish College of Ophthalmologists, has launched a new patient guide to support people diagnosed with a range of retinal conditions. The publication, A Guide to Conditions of the Retina, cuts through the science and medical jargon often associated with our eyes generally, and our eye health in particular, to set out information in a way that is easy to understand and simple to navigate.

More than 224,000 people in Ireland are affected by conditions causing sight loss, with these numbers expected to rise to 275,000 by 2020.  The Guide sets out information on a range of retinal conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetes-related sight loss, retinitis pigmentosa and other rare inherited conditions, including their causes, symptoms, treatments and research. It details how the eyes work and defines the technical terms used for parts of the eye, as well as highlighting the roles of the various eye health professionals that people come into contact with.

Eye tests that patients may undertake and the purpose of each of these in examining vision and different parts of the eyes are explained, from looking at letters on a chart, to measuring colour perception, to looking at the range of vision. The Guide also sets out questions for patients, who can sometimes feel overwhelmed, to ask at their eye examination so that they are as fully informed as possible, as well as pointing to Irish and international patient, medical and research organisations for additional information and support.

ICO member, Mr David Keegan, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin, who was instrumental in the development of the Guide, says:  ”Every day in my practice, I see the huge impact that sight loss has on people. Not only does it affect the individual concerned, but it can have a huge ripple effect across families. These challenges are not only practical in terms of how we go about living our day-to-day lives but they are also psychological as we mentally adjust from a sighted to a partially or even non-sighted world. Access to authoritative and credible information on eye conditions, particularly those that are rare, can be difficult and so this Guide will be a great resource to patients and medical professionals alike.”

Copies of the Guide will be distributed to eye care professionals nationwide. It can also be downloaded below or, alternatively, printed copies can be requested by contacting 01 678 9004 or communications@fightingblindness.ie

Click here to download a PDF version of ‘A Guide to Conditions of the Retina’ 

5th December 2014