Macular Degeneration Symposium

Age-related macular degeneration affects more than 10 million Americans. It is a common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 50. The condition affects the central part of the retina – causing distortion or loss of central vision.

When faced with a diagnosis of macular degeneration, you may not know where to turn for answers. Attending an education event is an excellent way to learn, meet and talk to specialists, and try new products and assistive technology.

Photo of a conference room with rows of people.
A room full of Symposium attendees listen to a researcher from UW-Madison.

On October 10 at the Alliant Energy Center, join the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired, the UW-Madison Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and UW Health at the “Saving Sight: Macular Degeneration Symposium.”

Topics that will be covered:

  • What is macular degeneration and what causes it
  • Latest treatments
  • Prevention and treatment research
  • The role of nutrition and genetics in macular degeneration
  • Available resources after diagnosis
  • Tools that can help a person who has macular degeneration thrive with changing vision

University of Wisconsin ophthalmologists and researchers, and experts from the Council, will present at ten fifteen-minute sessions throughout the day. Topics range from treatment of wet macular degeneration to nutrition to stem cell therapy.

“My hope is that this symposium provides people with a tool,” says Dr. Barbara Blodi, Medical Director of the Fundus Photograph Reading Center and professor of ophthalmology at UW-Madison. “Patients (and their families) who suffer from a serious, chronic illness, such as macular degeneration, need tools to learn more about their condition and the resources available to them.”

All are welcome to attend, especially those who have been diagnosed with macular degeneration or low vision, family members, friends, caregivers and staff at agencies who provide services to people with macular degeneration. Members of low vision support groups are encouraged to attend. Spread the word to groups in your area.

Symposium attendee visits vendor table.
Wisconsin Council of the Blind staff showing a Sharper Vision Store product to a symposium attendee.

Attendees can also visit vendors from agencies who work with older adults, service providers, and companies who sell products to people who have vision loss. Vendors include the Council’s Sharper Vision Store, Vision Forward, ADRC of Dane County, E.M. Vitu, OrCam, McPherson Eye Research Institute, Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library, OccuPaws Guide Dog Association, Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired (OBVI), Sharing Active Independent Lives (SAIL), HEAR Wisconsin, Center for Deaf-Blind Persons, UW Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Enhanced Vision, Adaptive Technology Resources (ATR), Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Clear Vision Midwest, AARP Wisconsin Chapter, and Oakwood Village.

The Council thanks the following sponsors for making this event possible: Associated Bank, Adaptive Technology Resources, Clear Vision Midwest, Enhanced Vision, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, AARP of Wisconsin, MG&E Foundation, and Oakwood Village.

The symposium will be held Wednesday, October 10, 2018, from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. It will be located at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Coffee will be provided and food will be available for purchase. Parking is free. There is no cost to attend the symposium, but registration is requested.

Register by calling the Council at 800-783-5213. Online registration is available at


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