People with central vision loss will have the chance to try out user-friendly equipment designed to make their day-to-day lives easier today, Tuesday, June 18.
The equipment demonstration event will take place at the next Ballymena Macular Society Support Group in the town.
The Macular Society, which runs the support group alongside local people at the First Ballymena Presbyterian Church in Meetinghouse Lane, will be holding the session from 10.30am.
The event will feature demonstrations of a wide range of helpful equipment such as lighting, magnifiers and other aids, which make everyday tasks easier for people with macular disease.
Macular disease is reported to be the biggest cause of blindness in the United Kingdom.
Nearly 1.5 million people are currently affected and many more are at risk.
The disease can have a devastating effect on people’s lives, leaving them unable to drive, read or see faces.
Many people affected describe losing their sight as being similar to bereavement.
There is still no cure and most types of the disease are not treatable.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common form of macular disease, affecting more than 600,000 people, usually over the age of 50.
Karen Toogood, Macular Society regional manager, said: “There are a wide range of low vision aids currently available to help people with macular disease and other visual impairments.
“This event will give people the chance to see how they work, test them out and see which they find most useful.
“Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with sight loss, or you’ve had vision problems for a long time, there will be something available which suits your individual needs.
“And you don’t have to be a member of the Ballymena Macular Society Support Group to attend – anyone living locally is very welcome to come along and take a closer look, said Karen.”
The Ballymena Macular Society Support Group meets on the third Tuesday of the month, from 10.30am-12pm, at the First Ballymena Presbyterian Church, 18-22 Meetinghouse Lane, in the town and always welcomes newcomers.
In Northern Ireland, the Macular Society has been able to establish and run new sight loss support groups across the country thanks to £250,000 of National Lottery funding from the National Lottery Community Fund (formerly the Big Lottery Fund).
This vital investment has enabled the charity to triple the number of its support groups in Northern Ireland, and deliver a range of other vital services, since 2009. The Ballymena Macular Support Group is one of more than 350 groups of its kind in the UK offering vital information, encouragement and friendship to people who are affected by macular conditions.
For more information about the group, contact Karen Toogood on 02891 466 305, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on macular disease, call 0300 3030 111.