AMD 'a life restricting condition'
Published on 15 February 2012 01:00 PM
Simple tasks like driving and crossing the road become impossible for many of those with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a sufferer has explained.
The condition, which distorts vision, can irreparably change the lives of those affected, 72-year-old Harvey Godber has said.
Mr Godber first developed the condition in 2005, when he noticed a blotch in the vision of his right eye and thought he was developing cataracts.
Within weeks of being diagnosed with the condition the blotch grew larger, and nine months later another appeared on his left eye.
Mr Godber, from Taunton in Somerset, suffers from both dry and wet AMD. He spoke of how his business - a fine-scale rail modelling company - has suffered as a result of his sight loss.
Whereas Harvey once created the detail on the railways and trains, his condition has forced him to sell the model pieces rather than make them.
'I worked in an industry where detail is everything which meant that I couldn't have macular disease and continue to do the job I loved,' he said.
'My business and my hobbies have been severely restricted, as well as my circle of friends as a result.'
Mr Godber said he can no longer drive, recognise faces or read signs, leaving him heavily dependent on his wife and others around him.
'She has had to take over all the finances and form-filling and often has to give a running commentary on visits out as well as guiding me round kerbs or other obstacles,' he said.
'Outings are a real strain as she has to think for both of us.'
Mr Godber is now involved with the Macular Disease Society and runs a support group in Taunton.
It's important to get regular NHS eye tests, which are free if you are over 60. If you notice any changes to your vision, you should consult an optician or a GP quickly.
Age UK funds research to prevent and treat a wide range of age-related health problems, including AMD:
Find out more about, or donate to our research programme
Copyright Press Association 2012