The Macular Society has announced the launch of its first ever awareness week, which will help to raise the profile of one of the biggest causes of sight loss in the developed world.

Macular Week, which will be launched in partnership with Vision Express, will take place from 6 – 12 July this year.

As well as raising the awareness of macular disease, which affects more than 600,000 people in the UK, the Society hopes to highlight the importance of research funding which could eventually help to find a cure for macular conditions.

Cathy Yelf, Chief Executive of the Society, said: “By 2020 almost 700,000 Britons will have late stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

It is now the most common cause of sight loss in the country.

We are fighting for more funding for macular research because our ageing society means many more people are developing the condition.

We urgently need to find a solution.

“Macular conditions all affect the central part of the retina and cause loss of central vision.

It can be a devastating condition which can dramatically impact on the lives of people with the advanced disease.”

Jonathan Lawson, CEO of Vision Express, commented: “We’re proud to be launching such a vital initiative alongside the Macular Society, in a bid to help safeguard the sight of people in the UK.

“As well as helping raise awareness of macular conditions, Vision Express will be encouraging its 4,000-strong workforce and customers nationwide to support a company-wide fundraising drive during the inaugural Macular Week in July.

“While 50% of all sight loss is avoidable, many people still neglect to have their recommended eye test every two years.

By joining forces with the Macular Society, we hope to drive home the importance of a regular eye test.

Thanks to our partnership, 1,000 Vision Express employees are now professional members of the Macular Society and can offer customers the benefits of specialist training for macular conditions, providing an even more thorough and comprehensive vision care service.”

The Society is encouraging people to take part in Macular Week by organising a fundraising activity or an awareness raising event.

To get involved or to find out more contact the Society on 01264 321 964.

The Macular Society is the national charity for anyone affected by central vision loss.

The charity provides free information and support to improve lives today and we fund research so that one day we can overcome macular disease.

For information, advice or support concerning macular disease, contact the Macular Society’s helpline on 0300 3030 111 or email help@macularsociety.org.

You can visit the website at www.macularsociety.org