Vision for the future

Free seminar on macular degeneration.

Free seminar on macular degeneration.

HEED THE WARNING SIGNS: Eric Hoggins, who only started wearing glasses in his 80s, advises people wary about the condition of their eyes to attend Macular Degeneration New Zealand’s free seminar on Saturday. Picture by Paul Rickard

One of his cartoons promoting regular eye checks.

RETIRED Gisborne cartoonist, graphic designer and sports historian Eric Hoggins has spent a lifetime creating fine art work.

He considers himself more of a graphic designer than the cartoonist he is most reknowned for.

“I did very fine work, as well as drawing cartoons by hand, most of it in an era well before computers.”

He is surprised that with the nature of his working life that he did not start wearing glasses until the age of 84.

Friends have told him that being a non-smoker may helped the quality of his vision last late into life.

“I put on a pair of my late wife Mary’s glasses one day,” he said.

"I could read a lot better. Everything was much clearer.”

Mr Hoggins was surprised and had his eyes checked. He was surprised again.

‘They found I had a serious defect in my right eye.”

Macular degeneration

He had macular degeneration or MD, which is the leading cause of blindness in the country.

Mr Hoggins underwent top knotch care and treatment at Gisborne Hospital.

He estimates he had a dozen injections into his eye over 18 months.

"I can’t praise enough Graham Wilson (ophthalmologist) and Rachel Cook (specialist clinical nurse) at Gisborne Hospital. They are the ultimate professionals.”

Today Mr Hoggins describes reading the phone book as one of his biggest challenges. He can manage the Gisborne Herald if he has good light.

Mr Hoggins is encouraging people to attend Macular Degeneration New Zealand’s free seminar in Gisborne on Saturday at Emerald Hotel from 9-11am.

Ophthalmologist Dr Andrew Thompson will dispel myths and misunderstandings about the chronic eye disease and provide information on the latest treatments.

Information packs

Information packs will be available.

Macular Degeneration (MD) is the leading cause of blindness in New Zealand, but is treatable.

One in seven people over 50 have some evidence of MD and the incidence increases with age.

Many people dismiss the early warning signs of MD as a normal part of the ageing process, accepting vision loss is part of the aging process.

Macular degeneration (MD) affects the central vision, affecting the ability to drive, read, watch television, undertake many hobbies and recognise faces.

Loss of vision affects lifestyle and independent ageing associated with the risks of: falls and fracturing hips; developing depression; inability to access health services and earlier admission to nursing homes.

“It is important to get the word out about how important early detection is,” Mr Hoggins said.

He regrets not being aware of changes in his eyes before being diagnosed three years ago.

*To register to attend the free seminar please phone 0800 MACULA (622 852) or email info@mdnz.org.nz

RETIRED Gisborne cartoonist, graphic designer and sports historian Eric Hoggins has spent a lifetime creating fine art work.

He considers himself more of a graphic designer than the cartoonist he is most reknowned for.

“I did very fine work, as well as drawing cartoons by hand, most of it in an era well before computers.”

He is surprised that with the nature of his working life that he did not start wearing glasses until the age of 84.

Friends have told him that being a non-smoker may helped the quality of his vision last late into life.

“I put on a pair of my late wife Mary’s glasses one day,” he said.

"I could read a lot better. Everything was much clearer.”

Mr Hoggins was surprised and had his eyes checked. He was surprised again.

‘They found I had a serious defect in my right eye.”

Macular degeneration

He had macular degeneration or MD, which is the leading cause of blindness in the country.

Mr Hoggins underwent top knotch care and treatment at Gisborne Hospital.

He estimates he had a dozen injections into his eye over 18 months.

"I can’t praise enough Graham Wilson (ophthalmologist) and Rachel Cook (specialist clinical nurse) at Gisborne Hospital. They are the ultimate professionals.”

Today Mr Hoggins describes reading the phone book as one of his biggest challenges. He can manage the Gisborne Herald if he has good light.

Mr Hoggins is encouraging people to attend Macular Degeneration New Zealand’s free seminar in Gisborne on Saturday at Emerald Hotel from 9-11am.

Ophthalmologist Dr Andrew Thompson will dispel myths and misunderstandings about the chronic eye disease and provide information on the latest treatments.

Information packs

Information packs will be available.

Macular Degeneration (MD) is the leading cause of blindness in New Zealand, but is treatable.

One in seven people over 50 have some evidence of MD and the incidence increases with age.

Many people dismiss the early warning signs of MD as a normal part of the ageing process, accepting vision loss is part of the aging process.

Macular degeneration (MD) affects the central vision, affecting the ability to drive, read, watch television, undertake many hobbies and recognise faces.

Loss of vision affects lifestyle and independent ageing associated with the risks of: falls and fracturing hips; developing depression; inability to access health services and earlier admission to nursing homes.

“It is important to get the word out about how important early detection is,” Mr Hoggins said.

He regrets not being aware of changes in his eyes before being diagnosed three years ago.

*To register to attend the free seminar please phone 0800 MACULA (622 852) or email info@mdnz.org.nz

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