Macular Degeneration

Health written question – answered on 4th February 2004.

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Photo of John Baron John Baron Shadow Minister (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what support those suffering from age-related macular degeneration currently receive after diagnosis.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton The Minister of State, Department of Health

holding answer 19 January 2004

In addition to any medical treatment that may be appropriate, people with vision problems affecting their quality of life can be referred for a low vision assessment. Low vision services are usually provided in a hospital setting, but in many parts of the country are being provided in locations closer to where people live, for example, in local opticians' practices and at centres for visually impaired people. It is important that the prescribing of any optical aids, and training in their use, must be done in the context of an individual's vision and the optical status of the eyes. Low vision aids, such as strong reading glasses, magnifiers or telescopes are available free on loan to any person requiring them.

Social services departments also have responsibility for assessing the needs of those who request help due to problems with their vision. Help could include aids to daily living, such as improved home lighting and hi-marks for cookers, or the provision of mobility training to enable a person to retain their independence with respect to travel.

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