Chairman John Virgona introduced Consulting Pathologist Martin Kirsch, saying he is associated with the Macular Degeneration Foundation and in his spare time he enjoys sailing and cycling around Geelong. This week is MD Awareness Week.
Martin explained the central part of the eyes retina is responsible for fine detail – reading,people’s faces, driving. There’s a group of degenerative diseases that cause painless but progressive loss of central vision; dry MD is a build-up of drusen (metabolic waste) not noticed except by an Optometrist.
Wet MD: retina breaks down leaving leaky blood and fluid, causing swelling of the macula, noticeable distortion and drastic loss of sight. Facts: 1 in 7 Australians develop MD, 17% of these experience vision impairment, leading cause of legal blindness. Risk factors: >50 years of age, family history, smoking. Prevention: check vision in both eyes regularly with Amsler Grid Test for distortion, regular eye examinations, protect eyes from UV, healthy lifestyle: weight control, don’t smoke, exercise, balanced diet including dark green leaves, raw nuts, fresh fruit. Ask your Doctor’s advice if wanting to take dietary supplements. Treatment: nil for dry MD, some help for wet MD including injecting a drug into the eye, so try to prevent it and act quickly if suspicious.
Martin was thanked for his presentation, asked a number of questions and presented with a token gift from Bayside Rotary.