Public Release: 

Book on vision loss: AMD affects 1 million Canadians

University of Montreal professors release paperback on vision-loss prevention

University of Montreal

This press release is available in French.

Montreal, May 25, 2010 - A new prevention tool is now available, in both French and English, at local bookstores and pharmacies. Dr. Jean-Daniel Arbour and Dr. Pierre Labelle of the Université de Montréal Department of Ophthalmology, along with two colleagues from France, have authored a new book to prevent vision loss, AMD: Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Annika Parance Publisher; 121 pages). Written to educate readers about the importance of vision health, the book provides clear explanations on the causes, consequences and treatments of AMD.

Macular degeneration is a progressive neurodegenerative disease of the retina and choroid, which translates into central vision loss and eventually prevents people from reading and driving. The impact on quality of life can be significant. The authors estimate that 300,000 Quebecers and one million Canadians suffer from AMD - figures expected to triple as the population ages over the next 25 years.

"The first symptoms are subtle and usually manifest themselves by an increased need for light when reading and a progressive decrease of visual acuity from both near and far," says Dr. Arbour, professor and director of the Université de Montréal Department of Ophthalmology.

Clear and concise explanations:

AMD is barely noticeable, at first, which means people often wait too long before being examined by a vision specialist. The book is there to bridge that information gap. By providing clear and concise explanations, the authors give good reason for consulting an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

"Regular eye check-ups are vital - even in people with no apparent vision loss. AMD can be detected by a routine eye exam before the appearance of symptoms," says Dr. Labelle, clinical professor at the Université de Montréal Department of Ophthalmology and its affiliated Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital.

AMD: Age-Related Macular Degeneration gives insight into existing and future treatments. Throughout book, the authors provide reflections from people affected by the disease to demonstrate how a healthy lifestyle is the best method of prevention.

The release of AMD: Age-Related Macular Degeneration is in step with another proactive move to promote vision health: Quebec's first annual Macular Degeneration Month. The campaign aims to prevent vision loss that can be avoided when a vision specialist is consulted in time.

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Note to editors:

The Université de Montréal name can be adapted to University of Montreal (never Montreal University).

On the Web:

Université de Montréal: www.umontreal.ca
Department of Ophthalmology: www.ophtalmologie.umontreal.ca
Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital: www.maisonneuve-rosemont.org

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