Rare eye diseases such as birdshot uveitis, acanthamoeba keratitis, leber hereditary optic neuropathy, blepharospasm and Stargardt disease affect around five people in every 10,000 but their impact is significant. National Eye Research Centre is one of very few charities which invests in research into a broad spectrum of sight-threatening illnesses, whether common or rare. The charity’s sole objective is to raise money for research into the prevention of eye disease and the combatting of sight loss and blindness, whatever that eye disease might be.

Losing your sight can affect your life in many ways, from the responsibilities of a job or pursuing your hobbies and interests. Imagine no longer being able to drive, read, watch your favourite TV programme or see your grandchildren growing up. Losing your independence and your ability to work may also trigger a slide into poverty or depression.

Sight loss is generally feared second only to a cancer diagnosis yet of all the money invested in medical research less than 2% is directed at preventing eye disease and combatting sight loss. Much of the money that is spent is directed at the big sight loss diseases, like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma and relatively little is directed at the rarer eye diseases. Please help us raise money to combat all diseases causing sight loss. However, National Eye Research Centre has created this appeal specifically to fund research into the rarer eye diseases.