Macular degeneration on rise
A disease which causes permanent blindness is sharply on the rise in New Zealand.
With macular degeneration, perfect vision can diminish rapidly in just a few weeks.
It happened to Tauranga resident Viv Jones, whose daily life was changed forever.
"I was told the very frightening news that my sight in my right eye was irretrievable and my left eye was failing fast," says Ms Jones.
One in seven New Zealanders over 50 get the disease - smokers, even earlier.
Tens of thousands of New Zealanders are currently affected by macular degeneration, and as the population ages the figure is quickly approaching 100,000.
But one kind of the disease - what doctors call the 'wet' kind - is easily treatable without surgery.
The procedure only takes five minues, and almost always works.
"It may seem trite to use the word miraculous, but to me it was a miracle," says Ms Jones.
And while saving your eyesight could take an injection in the eyeball, it's a small price to pay.
source: newshub archive