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CNIB offers strategies to prevent and cope with vision loss

OHSWEKEN – Are you having trouble with vision loss? As we age our eyesight often degenerates and a number of different problems can contribute to vision loss. The leading cause of vision loss in Canadians over 50 years old is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). With Canada’s increasingly aging population, the number of people diagnosed with

OHSWEKEN – Are you having trouble with vision loss? As we age our eyesight often degenerates and a number of different problems can contribute to vision loss. The leading cause of vision loss in Canadians over 50 years old is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

With Canada’s increasingly aging population, the number of people diagnosed with this disease is expected to double in the next 25 years. But the good news is that there are things people can do to minimize their risk.
On Tuesday September 23rd and Wednesday September 24th, the Canadian National Institute of the Blind (CNIB) will be holding a series of workshops at the Iroquois Lodge in Ohsweken with sessions on how to identify, prevent and cope with AMD.

The CNIB deals with a wide range of vision related problems, and doesn’t only work with those who are legally blind. The sessions they are holding will explain how the eyes work, the different types of AMD and strategies for treatment.
“A number of lifestyle choices can be very effective in the prevention of vision loss from AMD,” said Dr. Keith Gordon, CNIB’s Vice-President of Research. “Things like not smoking, eating a diet rich in leafy greens and omega-3 fatty acids, wearing sunglasses and exercising regularly are all proven to help maintain vision health.”

AMD causes damage to the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for seeing fine details (such as reading print or seeing faces). People with AMD experience blurred central vision and a growing central blind spot.

Dr. Gordon added, “Early diagnosis is extremely important to prevent vision loss. Especially if you’re over 50, you really need to be getting your eyes examined on a regular basis. New treatments for AMD are quite effective, but the earlier the disease can be diagnosed, the better the outcome.”

CNIB is proud to offer a guide for Canadians who have been diagnosed with or are at risk of getting AMD, called Your Guide to Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

“There’s no need to wade through the results of an internet-search trying to determine what’s true and what’s not when it comes to AMD. CNIB’s guide is a one-stop source for credible information,” explains Dr. Gordon. “Whether learning about how to minimize risk, becoming more proactive about treatment or accessing vital support services, the guide will help to empower people with AMD to live full, meaningful lives and truly see beyond vision loss.”

To download a copy of CNIB’s Your Guide to Age-Related Macular Degeneration, visit http://www.cnib.ca/amd

To learn more, join CNIB for an AMD information session on September 23rd (2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.) or September 24th (2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.) at Iroquois Lodge (1755 Chiefswood, Ohsweken). To RSVP, please call Jayne Mitchell-Hill at 519-445-2224.

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