Macular Society
General Optical Council eBulletin 20
May 2014

Macular Society services free for professionals and patients

The Macular Society explains the services it offers to both professionals and patients as the incidence of AMD rises in the UK.

The incidence of age-related macular degeneration is rising and hospital retinal clinics are bursting at the seams. As a result many optometrists and opticians are seeing more AMD patients. Making the time to deal sensitively with these patients can be difficult, as is ensuring they leave the practice with good quality information and the knowledge of where to go next.

The Macular Society has a range of high-quality patient information including leaflets on all aspects of macular disease, Amsler grids and DVDs. These are available, free, to eye care professionals and their patients. Leaflets can be ordered by email, via the website or via a smartphone app.

The Society also has a range of free services to which patients can be referred including an advice line, a BACP-accredited counselling service, and a telephone befriending service. It puts anxious patients in touch with treatment and hallucination ‘buddies’ who can offer reassurance to people concerned about anti-VEGF injections or Charles Bonnet Syndrome.

There are 300 local Macular Society peer-support groups around the country. They offer encouragement and companionship to thousands of people with macular conditions, including those with juvenile dystrophies or other conditions causing central vision loss, such as diabetic macular oedema.

AMD is the biggest cause of sight loss in the developed world and the Macular Society is committed to funding research to find a cure and to improve the lives of people with macular disease. The Society also has an advocacy service to help patients access treatment and it campaigns for better resourcing of AMD services.

The Society offers two GOC CET- accredited learning modules: ‘A few minutes of your time’ looks at actions you can take which will make a real difference to lives of people with macular disease; ‘Skills for seeing’ introduces the Macular Society’s eccentric viewing training and provides information on the benefits of eccentric viewing and steady eye techniques.

For more information please call Jessica Murray, Professional Liaison Officer, the Macular Society on 01264 322412 or email

The Macular Society app is available on iOS and Android platforms.

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