AMD, RP & Low Vision Awareness Month

In the UK, over 2 million people are living with sight loss. This month is dedicated to spreading awareness of life with low vision, particularly of two conditions which cause vision loss. AMD and RP. At Focus, we are committed to supporting all those affected by sight loss, as well as complex needs. One way in which we do this is by sharing statistics and information, disputing common misconceptions and generally spreading awareness. That’s why this February we want to talk about AMD and RP…

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD, Age-related Macular Degeneration, is the most common cause of sight loss. Usually affecting people in their 50’s and 60’s, AMD causes damage to the part of the retina called the macular which can lead to the loss of central vision. There are two primary types of AMD: Wet and Dry.

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Dry AMD is the more common of the two, affecting up to 80% of those with the condition. It is caused by the breaking down of the light sensitive cells in the macular.


Wet AMD can cause more severe sight loss and occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow beneath the retina leaking fluid and blood (hence the name ‘wet’ AMD).

The cause of AMD is undefined, however, it has been linked to environmental factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and being overweight. It is also thought that you are moore likely to have AMD if you have a family history of the condition. As of now, there is sadly no cure for AMD, but the use of certain vision aids can be help the condition.

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)

Like AMD, RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa) is currently an incurable condition. RP is the name for a group of rare eye diseases that affect the retina. Causing the rod and cone cells of the retina to break down over time, RP results in varying degrees of sight loss. RP can affect central and peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to distinguish contrast, it can also cause colour and night blindness. As a genetic disease, RP is a condition that you are born with. Like AMD, experiences and sight loss differs from person to person. However, most people with RP show symptoms in childhood and eventually go blind. The condition can be or become stable, or it deteriorates, unfortunately it does not improve.

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This February please help us to spread awareness of AMD and RP. Follow us on our social media pages and share our posts!