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.
What are we going to do about it?
Finding a cure
We will continue to invest in research until we Beat Macular Disease. We will maximise our impact by working collaboratively with other research funders to make a bigger difference. We will involve a diverse range of patients in our research decisions. We will maintain the high quality of the work we fund, spending the gifts of our donors in the best possible ways.
Providing the best advice and support
We will provide the best quality advice, information and support for people with macular disease. We will understand more about the people affected by macular disease; how they feel, what support they need, where and when. We will ensure our services meet those needs. In this way we will double the number of people we help within the next six years. Everyone who comes to the Macular Society will find something of benefit.
Making sure vision matters
Macular disease should be a UK health priority. We will campaign to increase understanding of the impact of macular disease so that it is given the priority it deserves. We will encourage the public to have regular eye health checks. We will engage with health and care professionals who work with people affected by macular disease and encourage referral to our specialist services. We will raise awareness of the need for better emotional and practical support for people affected by macular disease.
How we’ll do it
Read more about the steps we’re taking to Beat Macular Disease, and meet some of the people who inspire us, in our 2022 Strategy (see below).
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