A charity is offering people affected by macular degeneration in Huddersfield the chance to learn skills that can help maintain their independence.
The Macular Society has volunteer trainers available as part of their ‘Skills for Seeing’ programme, who teach people to make the best use of their remaining vision.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the central vision and is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK, affecting more than 500,000 people. Of these, 51,000 are estimated to live in Yorkshire and Humberside. More people are affected as our population ages.
Those affected by macular degeneration can find every day tasks such as cooking, walking, reading, watching television and even recognising the faces of others very difficult if not impossible.
The practical skills are taught on a one to one basis free of charge. Once mastered, these skills can help people to make better use of their remaining peripheral vision, enabling them to complete tasks which they previously found extremely difficult.
Volunteer trainer Rena Souten, 60, from Huddersfield, said: “Through my job as an optometrist I see lots of people who have significant difficulties when their vision has deteriorated because of macular disease. I decided my professional skills coupled with the Skills for Seeing programme would allow me to help many people to maximise their remaining vision. I’m looking forward to using the new techniques.
“These are called eccentric viewing and steady eye strategy and offer great potential to help those with macular degeneration maintain their independence. People who have benefited from the technique report improvements in everyday tasks such as mobility, sewing, food preparation as well as reading and recognising faces.”
Cleon Hutton, Macular Society Skills for Seeing Manager, said: “I’m so pleased that as a society we can offer this training to people living in Huddersfield.
“These techniques have the potential to significantly benefit those affected by macular degeneration. This is a great opportunity for people to learn a new skill that can help them in their daily lives. We need people to get in contact with us and then we can provide more information on how they can receive the free tuition.”
The Macular Society is the national charity for anyone affected by central vision loss. It provides free information and support to improve lives today and funds research.
For more information on learning the techniques call the Macular Society’s helpline on 0300 3030 111 or email email@example.com
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