SOURCE: AMD Alliance International

AMD Alliance International

February 09, 2012 10:35 ET

North American Eye Health Leaders Gather to Help Fight Vision Loss

FT. WORTH, TX--(Marketwire - Feb 9, 2012) - Like competitors gearing up for the big day last Sunday, a team of like-minded fighters for people with severe visual disorders assembled on February 3, in Fort Worth, Texas, just two days before the great 2012 sports challenge, to rally its own players to lead the attack against visual disorders worldwide. The "2012 North American Meeting of AMD Alliance International (AMDAI) Members and Friends" gained yards against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, and other potentially blinding visual conditions. The goal is to improve eyesight and quality of life for millions of people and to save billions of dollars annually.

Meeting participants discussed the global economic impact of visual impairment, scientific advances that improve early detection, and models for successful outreach to all players.

"We want to thank all of those who attended this important event and hope they will be inspired to continue the fight against the devastating effects of AMD," said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America and Board Chair of AMDAI. "We are encouraged by all the promising advances we're seeing in research and treatment options for AMD but there is still much more work to be done to help save sight today."

AMDAI is a collaboration of leading vision organizations from across the globe that strives to raise awareness and to support each other to overcome macular disease. The efforts of its leaders impact everyone across the globe -- people of all ages, families and caretakers, doctors, vision advocates, and governments worldwide.

AMD is the biggest cause of vision impairment in the United States and is a potentially blinding condition.

AMDAI and its North American partners have a message: Heads up. Catch vision problems early. If you already have a vision problem, don't drop the ball. Depend on your eye care team.

"I am proud to be a part of a group here in North America that is so passionate about vision loss prevention and that does so much to raise awareness of macular disease," says Narinder Sharma, CEO and president of AMDAI.

If a single move could help prevent eye disease it would be regular eye exams. Betty Ann Baker, who told her story at the meeting, is a perfect example of someone whose vision loss may have been significantly lessened by regular eye exams. Never in all her 50 plus years had Betty Ann had an eye exam. That changed in a single day when she suddenly realized that she had lost vision in one eye. She now has regular exams and monthly intraocular injections to prevent additional decline from her AMD. She and her doctors are working hard to preserve her eyesight.

According to The Global Economic Cost of Visual Impairment study from AMDAI:

  • Betty Ann is among the estimated 733 million people worldwide whose vision is impaired.
  • The cost of visual disorders worldwide is $3 trillion dollars.
  • At the current rate of visual loss, the cost will grow by 2020 to $3.5 trillion, enough to support the economy of a nation as large as the United Kingdom.

A status report by the World Health Organization shows that visual disorders exceed respiratory disease, diarrheal disease, unipolar depressive disorder, ischemic heart disease, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes on the impact of the quality of life. http://www.who.int/whr/2003/en/Chapter1.pdf

For more information on AMD or AMDAI, please visit amdalliance.org or e-mail info@amdalliance.org.

About AMDAI
AMD Alliance International strives to bring knowledge, help and hope to individuals and families around the world affected by AMD. Our mission is accomplished through:

  • Generating awareness and understanding of age-related macular degeneration;
  • Promoting the importance of education, early detection, knowledge of treatment and rehabilitation options; and.
  • Preserving vision and improving the quality of life of individuals affected by age-related macular degeneration.

Contact Information

  • For more information:
    Elaine Richman, Ph.D.
    Richman Associates, LLC
    (on behalf of AMD Alliance International)
    (410) 491.8370
    Email Contact