World Sight Day

A prevention initiative to fight macular degeneration.
Federico Bartolomei

This year, on the occasion of World Sight Day, the Institute of the Blind F. Cavazza, in collaboration with the Regional Council of the Italian Blind Union and the Fico Foundation, has promoted an initiative on the prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a rare eye disease before age 55 but very common after age 75. It can cause serious and irreversible visual damage. Its incidence, linked precisely to the aging population, places it today as the first cause of low vision in the industrialized world.


Consequently, prevention becoming a priority, 50,000 leaflets containing the Amsler grid were distributed to the population, a simple test that can highlight some typical symptoms of the disease such as metamorphopsia (distorted vision of images) and scotoma (partial alteration in the field of vision). These symptoms, if present, must be further investigated by means of a visit to the eye specialist. The Fico Foundation contributed to convey the importance of visual health linked to proper lifestyles, beginning with good eating habits.

Poster of the event

"The risk of developing AMD is 50% genetic and the other half is due to environmental factors," explains Dr. Antonio Ciardella, Director of the Ophthalmology Unit of the Sant'Orsola Malpighi Hospital in Bologna, "at the moment, unfortunately, no therapy can reduce genetic risk, but research is under way. As far as environmental risks are concerned, it is important to avoid smoking, which is an important preventable risk factor, and to adopt a healthy diet rich in omega 3 and antioxidants. We should east fresh produce instead of pre-packaged foods, coloured fruits and vegetables, fatty fish twice a week, less red meat, and more white meat such as chicken and rabbit. We should also try to exercise and take long walks, a sedentary lifestyle putting us at risk of other cardiovascular diseases."


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