An international team of clinicians and scientists is urging people aged over 60 in Bridlington to sign up for a ground-breaking research project into the most common cause of sight loss in the western world.
The Bridlington Eye Assessment Project follows a study in the town in the early to mid-2000s which screened 3,500 people and detected a range of eye conditions, many of which would otherwise have gone undiagnosed.
One particular focus of BEAP is to more accurately predict how many residents are affected by age-related macular degeneration. Similar studies are taking places in the USA and Australia.
Residents of Bridlington have been sent information by post inviting them to take part in the study. To participate, they need to book to attend a research clinic at Bridlington Hospital.
Participants will complete a short questionnaire and have images taken of the retina at the back of both eyes.
A cheek swab sample will also be collected for genetic analysis.
Bridlington residents who are interested in taking part in the study can learn more about BEAP and register for an appointment at www.BEAP.nhs.uk or by calling 01904 724282.
The study will continue through until March 28.
Dr Gregory Hageman, professor at the University of Utah, which is running the study, said: “As the population in the UK and elsewhere continues to age, AMD will become increasingly more common. It is now accepted that AMD occurs as a result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as smoking.”
“It has also been suggested that the effectiveness of many commonly used treatments may depend on genetic differences – patients with certain genes may respond better to treatment than other patients without.
“It is important to understand the different risks that lead to the condition.”