The photography exhibition ‘See the Whole Picture’ by Barry McCall was officially launched at the National Gallery of Ireland this week, as part of AMD Awareness Week which runs from September 25th – 30th.
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) affects over 100,000 Irish people and is the leading cause of blindness in Ireland.
The symptoms tend to go unrecognised in the early stages, therefore it is recommended that the public, especially those aged 50 and older, should get their eyes tested regularly.
Celebrating its 10th year, AMD Awareness Week, supported by the Association of Optometrists Ireland (AOI), Fighting Blindness, the Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO), The National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) and Novartis, aims to encourage the public to get a free AMD test.
In a bid to spread the message of awareness, the photographer, Barry McCall, worked with four individuals to create a narrative about life with AMD and how it can have on impact on a person’s life.
The images vary from early stages of the condition, blurred or wavy vision, to advanced stages, which manifests as a large black mark in the central vision.
Mr Mark Cahill, Consultant Eye Surgeon, Irish College of Ophthalmologists explained: “AMD is a very manageable eye condition when diagnosed and treated early, as effective therapies are now available.
“AMD remains, however, a leading cause of sight loss in Ireland in older adults and we continue to work to increase public awareness on the importance of early diagnosis and taking care of your eye health”.
He claimed that the prevalence of AMD is rising significantly as our population ages, emphasising the importance of having your eyes regularly checked.
Lynda McGivney Nolan, Optometrist, Association of Optometrists Ireland commented at the launch of the exhibition: “Over 280 of our members will be offering free AMD tests to the public nationwide again this year during AMD Awareness Week.
“Please take the time to visit your local participating optometrist or the Novartis AMD testing unit this week in Dublin, Waterford, Galway, Limerick and Cork, a visit could save your sight”, she urged.
For more information on AMD and free AMD testing locations please visit www.AMD.ie