Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, is welcoming a new eye health campaign called Save or Sight (SOS), by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), which highlights that 50% of sight loss cases are avoidable.
Debbie said: “I welcome the RNIB’s new SOS campaign to improve early diagnosis and access to treatment for people in Oldham and across the country. There is not only a moral imperative but also sound economic reasons for ensuring sight loss is treated quickly and prevention is prioritised. Most people are shocked to learn that 50 per cent of sight loss is avoidable and RNIB’s SOS campaign aims to tackle the time-bomb of unnecessary sight loss and promote the importance of timely access to vital treatment.”
The RNIB’s SOS report shows Oldham received a ‘green light’ on glaucoma follow up appointments; a ‘green light’ on wet age related macular degeneration treatment policy; ‘amber’ on cataract treatment policy and ‘no response’ on macular oedema following retinal vein occlusion treatment policy.
In reaction to these results Debbie said: “Although these results are generally good I have written to the PCT for more information about the ‘amber’ result on cataract treatment and the ‘no response’ result on macular oedema treatment policy.”
There are around two million people in the UK with sight problems and the number of people at risk of the main causes of blindness; cataract, glaucoma, wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic eye disease is set to increase by up to 25 per cent in the decade leading up to 2020.
Steve Winyard, Head of Campaigns at RNIB, said: “I welcome Debbie’s support for our SOS campaign which aims to challenge unnecessary sight loss. We also want to promote the importance of regular eye checks and also highlight those areas where timely access to treatment and monitoring has saved the sight of those previously at risk of blindness.”
Everyday around 100 people in the UK start to lose their sight. There are around 2 million people in the UK with sight problems. RNIB is the leading charity working in the UK offering practical support, advice and information for anyone with sight difficulties. If you, or someone you know, has a sight problem RNIB can help. Call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk
About RNIB’s ‘Save our Sight’ Campaign
Over 50 per cent of sight loss is avoidable. You or someone you love could lose your sight. Those of us lucky enough to live beyond the age of 90 will face a 1 in 2 chance of losing our sight. With a population growing in age and obesity, RNIB’s new ‘Save our Sight’ (SOS) campaign will work to tackle the timebomb of avoidable sight loss in the UK.