Living with Macular Degeneration in the UK: Essential Resources and Support

A smiling lady in her 70s wearing a bright yellow jumper opening her front door

Macular degeneration, particularly age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a leading cause of vision loss among older adults in the UK. Navigating life with this condition can be challenging, but there are numerous resources and support systems available to help those affected maintain their independence and quality of life. This blog post will highlight some of the key resources for individuals living with macular degeneration in the UK.

Understanding Macular Degeneration

Before diving into the resources, it’s important to understand what macular degeneration is. Macular degeneration affects the central part of the retina, known as the macula, leading to blurred or lost central vision. There are two main types: dry AMD, which progresses slowly, and wet AMD, which can lead to rapid vision loss.

National Health Service (NHS) Resources

The NHS provides comprehensive information and support for individuals with macular degeneration. Their website offers detailed explanations of the condition, treatment options, and advice on living with vision impairment.

The Macular Society

The Macular Society is a leading UK charity dedicated to helping those with macular conditions. They offer a wide range of services, including:

  • Helpline: A free, confidential helpline (0300 3030 111) providing advice and support.
  • Support Groups: Local support groups where individuals can share experiences and tips.
  • Counselling: Professional counselling services for those struggling to cope with their diagnosis.

Visit their website for more information and to access these services.

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

The RNIB is another crucial resource for people with vision impairments. Their services include:

  • Advice and Support: Expert advice on a range of topics, from benefits and rights to practical tips for daily living.
  • Technology Support: Guidance on using assistive technology to maintain independence.
  • Emotional Support: Counselling and peer support groups.

Explore their offerings on the RNIB website.


Visionary is a membership organisation for local sight loss charities. They connect individuals with local support services across the UK. Their website offers a directory of local services to help you find nearby assistance.

Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs)

ECLOs provide vital support in eye clinics, helping patients understand their diagnosis and the available support. They can assist with accessing services and emotional support. You can find ECLOs in many hospitals across the UK. Check with your local eye clinic for availability.

Accessible Technology and Assistive Devices

Various organisations provide technology and devices to help those with macular degeneration:

  • Seeing AI App: A free app by Microsoft that narrates the world around you, helping with tasks like reading text, identifying objects, and recognizing people.
  • Dolphin Computer Access: Offers software solutions designed for people with visual impairments, including screen readers and magnifiers. Learn more on their website.
  • RNIB Shop: A wide range of assistive devices, from magnifiers to talking clocks, is available on the RNIB Shop.
  • RealSAM Phones: RealSAM offers smartphones specifically designed for the visually impaired. These phones provide voice-activated assistance and are designed to be user-friendly for individuals with vision loss. Learn more and explore our products on the RealSAM website.

Financial Support and Benefits

Individuals with macular degeneration may be eligible for various benefits and financial support:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP): A benefit for people with long-term health conditions that affect their daily living and mobility.
  • Attendance Allowance: For those over state pension age who need help with personal care due to disability.
  • Access to Work: Financial support for those in employment to cover the cost of workplace adaptations.

Visit the Government’s Benefits page to check eligibility and apply.

Macular Degeneration Resources

Living with macular degeneration can be challenging, but there is a wealth of resources available in the UK to support those affected. From national charities like the Macular Society and RNIB to local services and assistive technologies, help is available to ensure you can maintain your independence and quality of life. If you or a loved one are dealing with macular degeneration, don’t hesitate to reach out to these resources and take advantage of the support they offer.

For more information and updates, consider subscribing to newsletters from these organisations and joining their online communities for ongoing support and advice.