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Concern at rising number with sight loss

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By Donald Turvill
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Concern at rising number with sight loss

THE NUMBER of people losing their sight in the region is set to rise, according to a leading charity, who have called for increased support for sufferers.

Sight Scotland, formerly Royal Blind, have carried out the biggest survey of people with visual impairment in Scotland since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, with a majority saying that their sight loss made lockdown a more difficult experience.

With 6000 – and rising – visually impaired residents in Dumfries and Galloway, the charity expressed concern over a recent survey which suggested only half of the people in South Scotland would know where to go for help if they lost their sight.

And charity chief executive Mark O’Donnell says more needs to be done to “provide more support in the future.”

He said: “The number of people who are blind or partially sighted in Scotland is set to increase by 30,000 in the next decade, and for a wide range of conditions our research shows every hour at least one person in Scotland starts to lose their sight.”

Mark intimated that last year, NHS Dumfries and Galloway conducted over 1500 cataract operations, adding: “We need to ensure those people receive support and treatment quickly. Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans will work with the Scottish Government and many other partners across Scotland, including in Dumfries and Galloway, to reach more people living with visual impairment.”

Mick Seed, Sight Scotland Veterans Outreach Worker for Dumfries and Galloway, added: “Sight loss affects every individual differently, which makes the tailored support that Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans can provide to people living with visual impairment vital.”

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