Welcome Note from Avril Daly

Image of Avril DalyWelcome to the Fighting Blindness Guide to Conditions of the Retina More than 224,000 people in Ireland are affected by sight loss and this number is expected to rise to 275,000 by 2020.  Many forms of sight loss are caused by degeneration of the layer of tissue at the back of the eye known as the retina, leading to variable levels of sight loss specific to each person and depending on the condition they have. At Fighting Blindness, we believe it is vital to understand the condition that affects you or your family members, so that you can make informed decisions about your eye care and the supports that may be needed now and into the future.

The good news is that researchers are investigating the conditions and identifying the problems, with the intention of developing treatments and, ultimately, cures. Some conditions, such as certain types of age-related macular degeneration and diabetes related sight loss, are already being successfully treated in Ireland. For other rare, genetic conditions, we are still in the early investigative stages, but positively moving from the laboratory to clinical trial stage.

The guide provides information on conditions, from basic research through to clinical trials, treatment options and relevant support services. We hope it will be a valuable and useful resource not only to individuals and families who are affected by retinal conditions, but also for the allied medical professionals who are an integral part of diagnosing, treating and caring for them.

While we have provided a substantial volume of information, we cannot expect to answer all of your questions. However, we hope this resource will point you in the right direction to access further information. We also invite you to contact us at   info@fightingblindness.ie if you have any particular queries. We are here for you.

This resource has been reviewed and sanctioned by world-leading scientists and the country’s leading ophthalmic specialists, and we are grateful to them for their input. We are also very grateful to Bayer Healthcare, without whose support we would not be in a position to publish this important document.

Avril Daly

Chief Executive, Fighting Blindness