World Sight Day 2018, which falls on 11 October, aims to make the population aware that blindness and visual disability is everyone’s battle. At the Institut de la Macula and the Barcelona Macula Foundation, we are fully conscious of this and share these aims
Institut de la Màcula and Barcelona Macula Foundation have been working for a long time on the treatment and research of macular and retinal diseases. In recent years, we have saved thousands of people from blindness thanks to the spectacular development at scientific level in conditions like Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) in its exudative form, macular oedema secondary to diabetic retinopathy and venous thrombosis.
Unfortunately, however, there are still people who suffer diseases for which we still lack treatment. Retinitis pigmentosa, atrophic Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Stargardt’s disease are some of them.
For this reason, and because of our scientific obsession, the Institut de la Màcula and the Barcelona Macula Foundation is committed to maintaining its research both with clinical trials and with preclinical models in order to provide these patients with solutions as fast as possible.
Many diseases that cause avoidable blindness go unnoticed and undiagnosed and do not receive the right treatment in the early stages of their development. Even so, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 80% of visual disabilities may be cured or prevented.
On World Sight Day, the Institut de la Màcula and the Barcelona Macula Foundation have joined the international campaign to place emphasis on vision cure. This stresses the need to undergo annual eye examinations; above all when one forms part of a risk group, either because of family history, age or as a result of a disease such as diabetes. We have the data and the forecasts and therefore we know that the figures may get worse if we do not act now.
The WHO set 2020 as the year to eradicate blindness in the world. All the avoidable diseases, at least. We, the medical and research community, were aware that this was an impossible challenge. It was a utopia. Nevertheless, the most optimistic forecasts have been exceeded.
“Resignation is not a term that science adopts. Quite the opposite; we know that this is only a matter of time. We are giving this our full attention and mobilising all the resources so we can succeed as soon as possible. Optimism is the favourite word of the ophthalmologists who have decided to contribute to the research in the fight against blindness”, says Dr Jordi Monés.