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A top Auckland ophthalmologist is joining forces with Macular Degeneration New Zealand to raise awareness of one of the leading causes of blindness in this country.
Dr Archie McGeorge an ophthalmic clinician and surgeon at Auckland Eye is presenting three seminars in July and August on macular degeneration, a condition which affects 1 in 7 New Zealanders over the age of 50.
The seminars are part of the Macular Degeneration New Zealand campaign to bring awareness to the causes and treatments of age-related macular degeneration.
Dr McGeorge says macular degeneration (MD) is currently four times more common than dementia, and occurs when the macula or central part of the retina degenerates due to ageing - which can result in total blindness.
The presentations are part of a national seminar series specifically aimed at people who already have knowledge of MD, either because they live with the condition or have a family member, friend or colleague who suffers from it, he says.
"Current research is one of the areas that is always of great interest to those with MD or those at risk, such as people over 50, smokers and those with family history. This is why the seminar series was piloted and is now being taken nationwide," says Dr McGeorge.
The seminars also provide attendees with easily understood, up-to-date information on current international research into MD, says Dr McGeorge.
Macular degeneration is more likely to cause vision problems in those aged over 50 than cataracts or glaucoma, which are more well-known. However, Dr McGeorge says that the condition can be easily screened for through a visit to a local optometrist.
Notes to Editors
*In 2009, 48% of blind New Zealanders over the age of 50 had macular degeneration, in comparison to 11% from cataracts and 16% from glaucoma
Dr Archie McGeorge PHD, FRANZCO
Archie is an ophthalmic clinician and surgeon with over 15 years experience treating diseases of the retina and refractive cataract correction. Archie obtained medical (MBChB) and research (PhD in Neuroanatomy) degrees in Auckland before training in ophthalmology in Auckland and Waikato hospitals. He then completed sub-specialty fellowships in diseases of the Retina and Vitreous at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics that consistently ranks in the top ten ophthalmology training programs in the US.
He has tutored full-time at Auckland Hospital in 1995 and 1996 before commencing private practice at Auckland Eye, where he provides assessments at Remuera, Takapuna, Albany and Red Beach. Archie is a member of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, the Oceania Retinal Association, the Retinal Specialists Association. He also regularly provides continuing education for optometrists and GP's.
Facts about Macular Degeneration