If you or a loved one have macular degeneration, you appreciate getting important news fast. That's one thing your donations have helped the Macular Degeneration Partnership (MDP) do - and it makes a difference.
Recently, the long awaited results of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS 2) were announced and our members heard them within hours. Now that's fast!
AREDS has looked at the effect of vitamin supplementation on the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The first study, by the National Eye Institute, showed that taking this specific combination of antioxidants and zinc could slow the progression of AMD by 25%. When you are trying to hold on to every bit of vision you have left, slowing it down that much can make a big difference.
AREDS 2 (the follow-up study), looked at a modified formula that included more antioxidants and added omega-3. By sending out the word on our members could immediately make changes that might give them even better results.
The National Eye Institute recommended a different formula that could slow down the progress by an additional 20%. When MDP announced those results to our members, they called and emailed with questions that we were able to answer individually, person to person.
This is the most important thing MDP does - giving personal and caring support to everyone.
It's your contribution that allows us to provide such individual service to our seniors and their famiy members coping with vision loss. Thank you again for all you do to support Macular Degeneration Partnership in our mission.
For the full report on AREDS 2, visit our newsletter, AMD Update.
The Macular Degeneration Partnership just won an award from Constant Contact - we're an "All Star"! The AMD Update Newsletter won this recognition because of how often we send out the newsletter - and by how many people open it. This is the second year in a row MDP has received this honor.
February was National AMD and Low Vision Month in the U.S. and elsewhere.
It was a great opportunity to remind everyone about the importance of dilated eye exams and of the wonderful resources available to people with limited vision.
Give Your Sight a Hand was promoted throughout the month, in our newsletter and in the Outlook newsletter from the National Eye Institute. This campaign reminds people to check one eye at a time. You may never notice a vision problem otherwise. Both your eyes work together to give you the very best vision, possibly masking a vision problem in one eye.
In March, an ad for Give Your Sight a Hand was run in the Vision Supplement to USA Today. We offered everyone a free magnetic Amsler Grid to use to check vision one eye at a time. If you haven't gotten yours yet, call us!
March is also National Nutrition Month and we focused on the impact of diet on AMD. Folks who eat lots of fruits and vegetables and fish get less macular degeneration. Dark green leafy vegetables pack the most nutrition and fish like salmon and mackerel are good choices for high levels of omega-3. At our support groups, we handed out healthy recipes and a list of lutein rich raw foods.
For other nutrition tips, see our March Newsletter. Happy eating!
When you donated to Discovery Eye Foundation for Macular Degeneration, you received a thank you note from us, of course. Because we appreciate your contribution.
I wish you could hear the thankful voices I hear everyday. They are so grateful for our support and help and you are a part of that. These are seniors who are facing the challenges of losing vision to age-related macular degeneration. Because of you, when they found us, they received help that made a difference.
Here is what they said:
In the coming year, we are redesigning our website to make it more accessible. It's in large print already, but we're adding a Voice Reader feature so that visitors can listen to the information as well.
Your support is making this possible and we thank you so much for your help.
Happy Holidays to you and yours,
Judi DelgadoExecutive DirectorMacular Degeneration Partnership
The campaign continues!
With your help, "Give Your Sight a Hand" was a huge success at the AARP Event and Expo. We are continuing to build momentum with every support group, every seminar, every health fair.
We're doing this to save vision! Your two eyes work together so beautifully that something could be wrong in one eye and you would never notice it - unless you close one eye at a time!
Do it now.
Cover your left eye and look at something familiar with the right eye. Does anything look distorted or blurry? Then cover your right eye and look with your left eye. If you see vision changes, call the eye doctor and get those peepers checked.
Even better, go to our website and print the Amsler Grid that is there. Focus on the black dot in the center - all the lines should be straight and nothing should be missing. Distorted lines are an early warning sign of macular degeneration.
Don't forget to sign up for our email newsletter before this weekend. I'll be reported on the most recent research in AMD directly from the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting. Don't miss it.
And thanks for your support - you've made such a difference!
People who have age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are dealing with a lot of issues. Losing vision, having wet AMD and needing to get repeated injections into the eye - or having dry AMD and not have any treatment at all available. No wonder patients can be discouraged.
One of the most important things the Macular Degeneration Partnership gives them is hope. Our monthly email newsletter reports on all the latest scientific research and clinical trials for both kinds of AMD.
It's been a remarkable few months in the research community, with multiple clinical trials for age-related macular degeneration. Upcoming treatments include some for dry AMD, which currently has NO treatment, improvements to wet AMD treatments and restoration of vision for the blind.
The stem-cell therapy by Advanced Cell Technologies (ACT) is continuing in clinical trial at a nice pace. So far, there are 4 trial centers, each recruiting groups of patients with age-related macular degeneration or Stargardts (a juvenile form of macular degeneration). The first groups received 50,000 stem-cell derived retinal cells, but we're already into the second groups, which are getting 100,000 cells. So far, everyone is doing well, there are no significant complications and some people report improvement in vision. It's still too early to tell if this therapy will prove successful, but we're well on our way!
In the meantime, the Macular Degeneration Partnership encourages people to eat a healthy diet of vegetables, fruit, fish and whole grains, wear sunglasses, get some exercise - and stop smoking. All these steps can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
In September, the Partnership will have a booth at the AARP Life@50+ Event, where we will screen seniors for AMD, give them information and Amsler Grids, and answer their vision questions. If you are going, stop by and say hello. Mention Global Giving and we will give you a special gift.
We'll be using the AARP meeting to kick off International AMD Week 2012. Watch for more information on this global campaign.
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