Optical Prism Magazine Jan/Feb 2013 - Page 37

lithographic film stripper for 25 years, Ron Leach called it quits when macular degeneration weakened his eyesight . The disease is Canada’s leading cause of vision loss. It damaged Leach’s maculae, the central areas of his retinas, the part of his eyes essential for seeing fine, detailed work in a print shop. He could no longer do the job. “When it came to doing close colour work, like colour registrations A of printing dots and that sort of proofing, you had to be dead-on with your registrations. It was almost impossible for me to do that,” Leach says. He is one of about one million Canadians who have some form of age related macular degeneration (AMD). Some people with this condition are no longer able to read, drive or see the faces of their loved ones. Leach considers himself lucky. With treatment, the condition has hardly affected him, he says. After he quit lithography, his hobbyist’s passion for soapstone carving grew into a fine art that earns him a modest living. “I’m still able to drive,” Leach says. “I’m still able to do my carving. The effects of having macular degeneration are very minimal. I do have a slight blind spot in the centre of both eyes. But it is slight. It’s like looking through a fog.” Nearly one in three people will have some form of age related macular degeneration by age 75, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind estimates. With Canada’s aging population, there could be two million people with AMD in this country over the next 25 years. In the United States, it’s estimated as many as 14 million people will be affected by the disease by 2020. With this major health problem on the horizo \X\\\[Hܛ\Hܘ[X[[H\\H\ܙHY܈][\[ۈHXX[\Y[\][ۋ[H\H\\K\X\\\H[Z\X][H[H[X\XH[[HH][\Z\\YH܈XYH\[وXX[^Y[ZYH\Y\Z\[XYY][\ˈۙHوH[X[[[[YHH][ܚ&\[XXH[]\]H\H\X\\[][XY\\[[H TH[\]YHH[[وH[X[Y[ۛ܋[[[Y[H][Hو[ZXK[\ݙYH[[X[&H\[ۋZ\YHY\\H[]Z\[X[ۚX\Y\[H\Y\ܙH\[ۈ[[H]XX[\Y[\][ۈ[\ۙ][ۜ]YXH][K8']^YH\X\\H[x&\H][HH[\[\HH]Y[8&\ۈ[[\H\Y\XH][H[\YYH\X\H܈Y[\][ۋ8'HHYHXY\\[[ZY[^Z[[\ܚX[[[ K[\H^\[Y[[X]Y[[H\Y[H[X[X[]XX[\Y[\][ۈ]Y[\[H^YHYX\ˈ[\[Y[\\H\YX\[XXx&\\X\\ˈ]HZ[[H܈][Y[[[K\X\\\H\\[\HT[Y[\]H[X[][\]Xۙ\^x&]H\YY܈ݙ\Y[\Z\[ۈ\H[X[X[\[^]Y[]SQHH[و Lˈ\X\\[[ܙX]HY]و][[[HT[\]YHH]Y[&Hۈ[[[[[HY][Z\^Y\ˈ[[YK\H[H[\H\\ݙ\Y[ NMHH[Y\Y\[[\\\\ۙX[ Y[\۝[YH[ܛ[XZ[\X\ ]^x&\H]][\]YX[ۜX]][\[\ܙH[X[Y][H[ˈ8'\H\HHو[[\8'H^\[\YH[XKX[\X܈[[[܈Y[\]H]H][\X\[]]x&\\[ۈܘ[K[X[[X[ۚX[H[[H^Y [HXܘ]ܞK[XZ[ܙX\ܜˈ[[XY[H^Y\و[ZXK\H[[[Yܘ]H[H][H[ݚYHYHYX\\Hو[\ݙY\[ۋPSTHSёP L‚‚