On 5th September, a small team from HSRU (Dr Katie Banister, Ms Beatriz Goulao, Miss Gemma Banister) were guest speakers at a Macular society meeting for 8 local support groups in the north east of Scotland.
What is the Macula?
The macula is part of the retina at the back of the eye. It is only about 5mm across but is responsible for all of our central vision, most of our colour vision and the fine detail of what we see. When there are problems with this part of the eye, it can cause problems with vision. The Macular Society funds research and supports people with loss of central vision.
What was the purpose of the meeting?
Over 40 people with macular disease and some family members came along to a research information day run by North East Scotland Macular Society co-ordinator Laura Gray. A busy day of information and discussion was planned focussed around research for Macular Disease.
We were lucky enough to be invited along to talk about our current eye research study EDNA. EDNA stands for Early Detection of Neovascular (also called Wet) Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
Joining us was Geraldine Hoad - research co-ordinator at the Macular Society - who highlighted current research in the diagnosis and treatment of wet and dry AMD.
Gemma Banister – one of our summer interns- ran some small group discussions with macular society members during the meeting. The groups discussed how to best present the results of the EDNA study (due to finish in 2020) to its participants who have poor vision.
We received extremely useful feedback and discussion which will be used to help make these results more accessible. We asked for opinions on different ways of sharing the study results, including audio, video and written examples. We also conducted a survey ranking the examples and received more than 40 responses from macular society members and accompanying people alike.
The session was a very useful opportunity to share information about the current research taking place in HSRU with the public. It was an exciting chance to hear their thoughts on both current research in this field and on accessibility of information to people with visual impairment.
Written by Dr Katie Banister and Gemma Banister, HSRU Student Intern