New Zealand Kicks Off First Degeneration Awareness Week

( A broadcasting legend in New Zealand has joined an initiative to spread awareness across the country about the dangers of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), reported Bay of Plenty Times on June 1.

According to the article, Philip Sherry, who previously worked as a newsreader in the country, took a leading role in the inaugural Degeneration Awareness Week.

According to the article, the country-wide public awareness campaign comes at a time when relatively few people know much about AMD, even though the eye condition is the primary cause of blindness in New Zealand. The chronic eye ailment results in central vision loss, mostly in the elderly. In fact, one in seven people in the country who are older than 50 are adversely impacted by it — and AMD is expected to become even more prevalent in the years ahead.

The article cited Sherry as saying that he was honored to be part of the effort to generate greater awareness about AMD in the capacity of an ambassador for Macular Degeneration New Zealand.  Sherry explained in the article that his mother suffered from the eye ailment in her latter years. Although she had been an avid reader, the onset of AMD meant that she was ultimately denied what had been a great “pleasure.” He added in the article that his mother was left with only 2% of her sight due to AMD.

While there were no treatments available at the time his mother suffered from the disease, the situation has now improved for AMD suffers, he said. He said that the situation will improve all the more as people gain an understanding of AMD and learn about how to safeguard their eyesight. What this means is seeking counsel from an ophthalmologist or an optometrist, said Sherry, adding that the awareness week will provide an opportunity to let people know that they should get eye exams from medical professionals.

According to the article, Philip Polkinghorne, a professor at the University of Auckland, has previously said that the government needed to do more to create greater awareness about AMD. He added that people should be made aware of the importance of eye health from a young age.



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