Whether we’re answering helpline calls, offering practical support, or raising the funds for research, we have the same mission: to Beat Macular Disease.
Our eye sight is precious. People fear sight loss more than serious illnesses like diabetes or the loss of a limb. The cost of sight loss to individuals and to society as a whole is vast. Yet eye research is a low priority and as a result is shockingly underfunded.
It is our duty and responsibility to work to find a cure for macular disease.
Our vision is to end macular disease.
Our mission is beating the fear and isolation of macular disease by funding world-class research and providing the best advice and support.
Why should I care?
Around 1.5m people in the UK have a macular condition that is affecting their vision. Around 700,000 of those people have age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is increasing rapidly, primarily due to the number of people living into their 80s and 90s when AMD is much more common. Cases of AMD are expected to have doubled between 2010 and 2040, by which time there will be well over 1m people with AMD in the UK.
Macular disease is incurable and most macular conditions are not even treatable. Macular disease is devastating. It is associated with an increased risk of falls, social isolation, depression and suicidal feelings. Children struggle at school, often enduring years of problems before getting the right support. Working-age people face unemployment and poverty.
Macular disease is a vast and growing public health issue. Ophthalmology is the biggest outpatient specialty in the NHS, largely driven by macular disease. Many clinics cannot cope with the demand for treatment even though only a minority of patients can be treated. Clinic delays lead to even more sight loss. Even so, public funding of eye research is low compared to many other conditions and the underlying biological disease processes are still not well understood. There is exciting and promising research work in progress, but it needs more funding.