Blind walk planned to raise awareness of sight diseases

Amanda Skinner.
Amanda Skinner.

The difficulties of living with sight impairment will be brought to life during a special walking event.

Pupils from the Thomas Gainsborough School and students from AFC Sudbury Football Academy, will be joined by town mayor Jack Owen as well as members of sight charity Lions International, to walk the streets of Sudbury blindfolded.

Sudbury mayor Jack Owen

Sudbury mayor Jack Owen

The event, which is being organised by opticians branch Wardale Williams in Gainsborough Street, will mark World Glaucoma Awareness Week.

“This event sounds like fun, which I am sure it will be, but there is a very serious reason why we are doing this,” said Amanda Skinner, practice manager at Wardale Williams.

“We want to raise awareness of the difficulties that visually impaired and blind people face as part of their everyday routines, such as entering shops, crossing the road, negotiating kerbs and coping in busy high streets.”

The walk starts and finishes at the opticians in Gainsborough Street at 10.30am next Saturday, where a glaucoma education morning will be held. From 11am to 1pm people will be able to talk with optometrist Will Norman about the condition, which develops when fluid cannot drain properly and pressure builds up damaging the optic nerve and nerve fibres from the retina. They will also be offered a ‘puff of air’ check to look for signs of the condition.

Amanda Skinner. ANL-140907-173313009

Amanda Skinner. ANL-140907-173313009

“Early diagnosis of glaucoma is important as there is treatment available to slow the progression of the disease,” said Mr Norman.

“The Intellipuff is held up to a patients eye and blows a painless puff on to the surface to record the pressure.”

Glaucoma affects more than 600,000 people in the UK. It is estimated half those with the disease go undiagnosed and untreated.