Guernsey's Specsavers store in Market Street aims to raise at least £1,000 for the Guernsey Macular Society Support Group by donating £1 from each eye test carried out this month.
The Guernsey Macular Society Support Group was formed in 2014 to help people suffering from macular conditions by organising talks and social events, giving them the opportunity to meet and socialise with fellow sufferers.
Store director Sarah Burchett said: "This is the third year we have supported the society after raising £1,200 last year. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Britain and there are around 1,000 people who suffer from the condition in Guernsey. There is currently no cure for the disease, which causes sufferers to lose their central vision. It can have a big impact on someone's life as it makes everyday tasks more difficult and can rob people of their independence, so we really want to support the local group."
Macular degeneration develops when the part of the eye responsible for central vision is unable to function as effectively as it used to. 90% of people with macular degeneration suffer from dry AMD, which tends to progress slowly. Sufferers will not go completely blind, as their peripheral vision should not be affected, but there is no cure for the disease. Wet AMD, which occurs in 10% of sufferers, develops more quickly and affects eyesight within days if untreated.
Tilly Fisken and Bill Gardiner who founded the Guernsey Macular Society support group said: "The support we have received from Sarah, her team and the customers that use Specsavers during March is unquantifiable. To know that our Guernsey group can go ahead with organising special occasions and bringing over a speaker from the UK gives us such a boost. We have many people who regularly enjoy our monthly meetings. Thank you to each and every one of you."
If caught early enough macular degeneration can be treated with laser treatment and injections of medication into the eyeball, which while unable to cure the disease will markedly slow its progression. It is one of many conditions which make regular eye tests a sensible precaution for all locals to take.
For further information about Specsavers Opticians Market Street be sure to check out their feature page here at thebestof Guernsey.
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