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Vision loss proves hereditary in Alberta family; regular eye exams still necessary

(NC) Parents give their children many things, but sometimes they unknowingly give things they surely would not choose to, such as vision loss.

Bob Atcheson remembers his father dealing with vision loss as he got older, but never imagined it could happen to him, too. He has wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of severe vision loss for Canadians over the age of 60 and a disorder for which an elevated risk can be passed from one generation to another.

Bob was diagnosed with AMD in 2006 during a routine eye exam. He was legally blind in one eye and, soon after, it began to affect the vision in his other eye, which remained stable thanks to treatment.

Bob is now helping others deal with vision loss. He has trained to become an ambassador for CNIB to speak at events and is taking part in a new CNIB campaign to educate Canadians about the importance of taking steps to prevent vision loss.

It is estimated that 1.4 million Canadians have some stage of AMD but that number is expected to double within the next 25 years due to the aging population. Treatment options are available that can prevent or slow down the progression of vision loss and in some cases improve vision, particularly if the condition is discovered early.

For more information about AMD and other eye conditions, visit www.cnib.ca.

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