The Macular Society’s professional conference aims to reduce fear and isolation in newly-diagnosed patients

31 July 2019
Source: Macular Society

The Macular Society’s fourth annual professional conference, Experts in Macular Disease, isMacular Society logo set to take place in October.

The event aims to encourage those in the sector to work together in order to reduce feelings of fear and isolation in patients by improving their experience upon diagnosis.

At the event, a patient panel will share their stories and discuss the impact of being diagnosed with macular disease and living with sight loss.

Jessica Murray, the Macular Society’s lead for eye care professionals, said: “When you are told you are losing your sight to macular disease it can have a huge psychological impact, with many people describing the feeling as similar to a bereavement.

“Effective communication from eye health professionals upon diagnosis can often help reduce the feelings of fear and isolation many face.”

She added: “We have some excellent speakers joining us and it promises to be an interesting and informative day.”

The conference will be held on Tuesday 22 October 2019 and will welcome speakers, including professor David Crabb from City, University of London. Professor Crabb will present his recent research which has found how effective communication from health professionals can make a difference to the lives of patients with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The event, which is open to all staff working in the eye care sector, will also see consultant ophthalmologist, Claire Bailey from Bristol Eye Hospital update on the latest in treatments and research.

Experts in Macular Disease will run from 9am-5pm at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Rd, London N7 6PA. Tickets are £45 each. For more information, or if you would like to attend the conference, please contact Jessica on 01264 322 412 or email jessica.m@macularsociety.org

The Macular Society also has two free online training modules for eye care professionals. The web-based courses are designed to support staff to develop a greater understanding of macular disease and its impact on patients, as well as the services and support available to help them. The two courses, ‘An Introduction to Age-Related Macular Degeneration’ and ‘The emotional impact of a diagnosis of AMD’, have full Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Certificate in Education & Training (CET) accreditation. Each module takes about an hour but can be completed in stages. Both courses can be accessed at http://www.macularsocietylearning.org

Macular disease is the biggest cause of blindness in the UK. 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. AMD is the most common form of macular disease, affecting more than 600,000 people, usually over the age of 50.

For general information on macular disease, call the Macular Society on 0300 3030 111 or email help@macularsociety.org

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