Vision loss affects patient’s independence, mobility and quality of life. It has been estimated that every day in the UK more than 100 people lose their sight. Worldwide more than 45 million people are blind. 800 patients are seen every week in the Eye Outpatient department and 3500 people are registered blind or partially sighted every year in Grampian. Fighting for Sight was established in 2001 to protect the vision of the people in Scotland and, specifically, Grampian.
Fighting for Sight will support research of new treatments for the most common eye diseases, including diabetes, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), inflammatory eye disease, and glaucoma. Research will also be focused in finding better ways of diagnosing and preventing visual impairment in adults and children.
Fighting for Sight will help to conduct public and professional programmes to promote visual rehabilitation, increase awareness of services and devices that are available for adults and children with low vision, and facilitate the delivery of these services.
It is often difficult for patients to ask questions about their eye condition. Patients may be anxious and worried about their problem. By developing support groups, patients would have the chance to learn more about their disease and to meet other people with similar problems. Educational programmes targeted to patients with specific ocular diseases will be developed, following the already established support group for patients with ocular inflammation.
Ongoing projects in the Clinical Research Centre include research into age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, corneal, diabetic and inflammatory eye disease. Continuing support from Fighting for Sight will allow further research to be carried out. Furthermore, the funding of a part-time dedicated Research Fellow by Fighting for Sight has resulted in 9 peer-reviewed publications to-date.
Up to date published papers:
Cornish KS, Reddy AR, McBain VA. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014 Sep;132(9):1084-8. Concentric macular rings sign in patients with foveal hypoplasia.
Lois N, McBain VA, Abdelkader E, Scott NW, Kumari R Retina. 2013 Jan;33(1):13-22. Retinal pigment epithelial atrophy in patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration undergoing anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy.
Chua PY, Mustafa MS, Scott NW, Kumarasamy M, Azuara-Blanco A. Relationship between socioeconomic deprivation or urban/rural residence and visual acuity before cataract surgery in Northern Scotland. European Journal of Ophthalmology [2013, 23(6):831-835]
McBain VA, Townend J, Lois N. Retina 2012. Am J Ophthalmol. 2012 Jul;154(1): 146-54. Progression of retinal pigment epithelial atrophy in Stargardt disease.
McBain VA, Kumari R, Townend J, Lois N. Retina. 2011. Geographic Atrophy in retinal angiomatous proliferation.
Abdelkader EA, McBain VA, Anand M, Scott NW, Siddiqui MA, Lois N. Retina. 2010. In vivo safety of trypan blue use in vitreoretinal surgery.
A Patients Story
Mr & Mrs Goodyear raised an amazing £1285 recently when in lieu of presents for their 60th Wedding Anniversary they asked for donations to be made to Fighting for Sight.
Mr & Mrs Goodyear decided to donate money to FFS as Mrs Goodyear is currently a patient attending the Eye Clinic at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and the couple were keen to donate in appreciation of the high standard of care received. Mrs Goodyear first attended the Eye Clinic in 2007 after changes in the back of her left eye were found at a routine optician appointment. As the reduction in vision had been gradual, she had not noticed it and unfortunately the damage caused by her age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) was too severe to be treated.
Shortly after this Mrs Goodyear felt clarity of vision had in her right eye. Thanks to the urgent referral scheme that we have here in Grampian, Mrs Goodyear was rapidly referred back to the Eye Clinic where she immediately began a series of treatments for her ARMD. She received 14 injections in her right eye over the next 2 years. Not only was the sight preserved in this eye but it actually improved dramatically – “I can now see that the pink flower I am looking at is a rose and the bird hopping around outside is a robin”. Mrs Goodyear’s vision remains stable and she feels that she has her “quality of vision” back again.
Mr & Mrs Goodyear handing over a cheque for £1285 to Dr Vikki McBain & Miss Noemi Lois. Illustration of seeing through a normal eye (left) and an eye affected by age-related macular degeneration (right).
Mr Simon Robertson
Simon Robertson recently completed The Ben Nevis Charity Challenge with his brother Michael, son Evan and friend David to raise funds for Fighting for Sight. This gruelling challenge involved a team of four climbing Ben Nevis, cycling 25 miles and canoeing Loch Lochy. Team “Get Hooked” raised the fantastic sum of £8669 for Fighting for Sight. Simon was keen to raise funds for the charity as he was born with congenital glaucoma and lost the sight in one eye at a very early age. He had managed to adapt to life with sight in one eye when tragically in 2008 his good eye was damaged as the result of a random attack. His cornea (the transparent layer at the front of the eye) was ruptured and he had to be registered blind. Ten months later however he was eligible for a corneal transplant and this started him on the road to regaining sight and eventually he was able to drive again. Unfortunately the transplant started to reject 3 years later and the reduction in his vision meant that he once again he could not drive and he felt like “he was losing his sight for the second time”. Mr Reddy, consultant ophthalmologist, had to perform a second corneal transplant in Jan 2014 and Simon’s eye is healing well and his sight is improving daily. Simon said that if it hadn’t been for the skill, support and management of the Ophthalmology department at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, he would certainly be registered blind. The charity is currently raising funds for a Specular Microscope which is designed to evaluate the condition of the cornea before and after transplant. Simon is keen to raise the £16k required so that it will give other people like himself a chance to regain a good quality of life.