BBC News Health refers to recent research in the British Journal of Ophthalmology which says that this condition affects more than 600,000 Britons; although only 50% of adults have heard of it, according to the College of Optometrists. This number is set to increase.

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Have you heard of Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?

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Dr Susan Blakeney, optometric adviser to the College of Optometrists said: "Age-related macular degeneration is the biggest single cause of sight loss in the UK so it is concerning that so few people are aware of it and its symptoms".

Apparently, AMD affects a tiny part of the retina at the back of the eye that controls central vision. This makes it difficult for the individual to see fine detail, such as recognising people's faces, reading or watching television. There are two forms of AMD, wet and dry.

There is currently no cure for either forms but early diagnosis and treatment of wet AMD - which develops rapidly - is crucial in order to prevent vision loss.

Dry AMD, which is more common, develops gradually and is not treatable but there are services available to support people with this condition

This makes it difficult for the individual to see fine detail, such as recognising people's faces, reading or watching television.

There is good news in that research suggests that a diet rich in leafy green vegetables, brightly coloured fruits and vegetables and oily fish may help prevent AMD.

Smoking also doubles your chances of developing the condition so quitting can also reduce your risk.

More green, leafy vegetables, fruit and oily fish for me from now on!

Patricia Wakeford

Solicitor - Clinical Negligence team



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