BLURRY vision while watching television one fateful evening more than eight years ago rang alarm bells for Bryan Mair.
The Warrnambool retiree swiftly booked an appointment with his optometrist after his vision became fuzzy and eyes irritable, but it took a few months before he discovered he had macular degeneration.
The medical condition usually affects people aged 50 and over and relates to the loss of vision in the eye’s central field — the macula — meaning some peripheral vision remains.
Mr Mair said while there was some awareness of the disease, many people were still unaware of the need for regular eye checks. “I started off with blurry vision suddenly one night while watching television and within six months I was legally blind,” the 80-year-old said.
“It’s a lesson to everybody that you should have regular checks, even if you think your sight is perfectly fine.”
The retired Telstra technical officer initially struggled to adapt to life without full eyesight but with the help of the latest in magnifying technology, he is still able to pay bills, use his home computer and listen to talking books.
“You just learn to live with it and you don’t take yourself too seriously,” Mr Mair said.
He acknowledged help from Macular Disease Foundation and Vision Australia.