Betty Boothroyd, former Speaker of the House of Commons, calls for more research funding for eye healthRe your article on age-related macular degeneration (G2, 16 July), this week the eye research charity Fight for Sight is launching a campaign to raise awareness of eye health and the desperate need for more research funding. This is an issue close to my heart. Many people of my age are starting to have difficulty with their sight and over 2 million people in the UK are affected by sight loss – a figure set to double by 2050. The answer lies in research. Breakthroughs have already led to pioneering treatments that have transformed people’s lives – for example, cataract surgery which today takes just 20 minutes and benefits hundreds of thousands of people every year. However, eye research remains woefully underfunded – a Fight for Sight review shows that just 1% of public grant funding went to this area last year. While investigations into stem cells and gene therapy offer hope for the future, there is much more work to be done. I hope others will join me this week in supporting Fight for Sight to achieve the next breakthrough, so we can build a future where everyone can see.
Betty Boothroyd
House of Lords

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