Concern is growing over the lack of treatment and support that is currently available for people in Ceredigion who are living with Macular Degeneration.

Sufferers are supposed to be given their injections at regular intervals to prevent an escalation of their sight loss. The injections should be administered every six to eight weeks to help prolong their sight however a failure to do so results in a rapid vision deterioration.

Sadly, with only two consultants covering the whole of the Hywel Dda Health Board compared with 14 consultants in Swansea, many local people who are suffering from Macular Regeneration are now at risk of losing their sight.

“I could hear the fear in their voices,” commented Cardigan mayor, Cllr Sian Maehrlein, after she recently met 12 local people who are currently living with the ailment.

“There is a massive concern about the lack of treatment here in Ceredigion, as the people I met have been unable to get their injections and are naturally very concerned about not only losing their sight but also losing their independence. Ceredigion is, after all, a very rural area, where people need all the support they can get.”

Cllr Maehrlein went on to say that one patient, who also suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, has had his appointments cancelled ‘time after time’, with the result that he has had to pay privately for one injection to be administered at the cost of £3,000.

“20 per cent of a person’s sight can be lost very quickly if these injections aren’t given, so it’s important that we do all we can to find a way forward to ensure that these people find the very important treatment that they so badly need to help them live their lives as independently as possible," she added.

Meanwhile Andrew Carruthers, from Hywel Dda University Health Board, has said there had been ‘significant demand’ in its macular degeneration service due to new referrals, the impact of Covid and the ‘resulting disruption of services and staffing’ which has led to a backlog of demand.

"We are working with clinical experts and operational teams to try to reduce the backlog as soon as is practicably possible," he said.