GA is an advanced form of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The symptoms are listed above. If you experience any of these symptoms, see an eye doctor as soon as possible. Prevent Blindness offers a variety of free, educational resources such as a dedicated webpage, expert videos, and fact sheets
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My Retina Tracker Genetic Testing Program
Do you have a clinical diagnosis of inherited retinal degeneration (IRD) and live in the United States and/or the US territories? The Foundation Fighting Blindness, in partnership with Blueprint Genetics and InformedDNA®, offers an open access, no-cost genetic testing program. Please visit their site to find out if you are eligible.
The program offers people with an IRD access to the highest quality genetic testing and genetic counseling. Although it is not required for participation, this program offers an easy opportunity to join the My Retina Tracker Registry. This gives individuals the opportunity to contribute to research and development, and the opportunity of being contacted about relevant clinical trials.
The program provides patients with a 322-gene panel targeting relevant genes associated with IRD. Unique features of the panel include the entire mitochondrial genome, full RPGR coverage, high-resolution copy number variant detection and comprehensive coverage of IRD related non-coding variants. The program offers no-charge genetic counseling.
Ordering is easy through Blueprint’s online portal, Nucleus. Results can be viewed in Nucleus approximately 4 weeks after Blueprint Genetics receives the sample.
New Resources for Reducing Eye Strain from Screens
In response to increased virtual and screen-based activities during the coronavirus pandemic, ISPB and Prevent Blindness Illinois have launched a new awareness campaign,, Take a Screen Time Out. All of us, including children, are spending as much as 12 hours a day in front of a digital screen. Find out more at Prevent Blindness.
Tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology include:
Use artificial tears to refresh eyes when they feel dry.
Consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
Wear prescribed computer eyeglasses that allow eyes to focus specifically at computer screen distance (intermediate distance, which is about 20 to 26 inches away from the face).
Adjust screen brightness to match the level of light in the room.
Increase the contrast on the screen to reduce eye strain.
Use a glare screen on the device.
Sit about 25 inches from the screen and adjust the screen height to look slightly downward.