About Paul Wallis
Welcome to my blog which I hope will help those suffering with macular degeneration to live a better life.
I have worked in low vision since the 1970s. I trained and qualified at Moorfields Eye hospital and the City University London. When I qualified the name Macular degeneration was unknown by the majority of sufferers. It has always been the silent disease poorly understood by sufferers or their families.
There is a problem with the way people with macular degeneration are regarded. They are the Cinderella’s of the visually impaired world. They constitute the vast majority of blind and partially sighted people in the UK. However, they don’t attract proportionately the same attention and resources. They haven’t been ‘sexy’ enough for the medical and charitable institutions.
I have worked with many patients over the decades. Through my blog I want to share the knowledge and information I have gained with a wider audience.
More about me…
Two formidable women influenced me. My Great Aunt Phyllis in my childhood. She worked with the deaf blind in London through the Second World War. She refused to leave London during the blitz, she stayed for her ‘girls’. The second woman was Janet Silver, my boss in the Low Visual Aid department at Moorfields. Both were dedicated to helping the visually impaired. The former taught me indirectly about life and attitude to people; the latter the details of how to cope with visual loss.
My main teachers though were the people I saw over many years. They came in all sorts and sizes. Slowly they educated me, some I helped but they all helped me. I began to see the indomitable spirit that drives people and what can dent that.
I have worked in the market town of Dorchester in Dorset for 30 years as an optometrist. The Optician magazine awarded my practice, ‘the Eyecare practice of the year award’ in 1996, then ‘Vision for life’ award in 2013. These are the ‘Oscars’ of the optics world.
The later award was what triggered me to write a book on macular degeneration and how to cope with it. It crystallised my thoughts and that they needed a wider audience.