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Inherited Retinal Disease Awareness Month

Fighting Blindness Canada (FBC) has helped make September, Inherited Retinal Disease (IRD) Awareness Month! Over 20,000 Canadians have an IRD and for most, there are no treatments available. Join us to raise awareness of genetic eye diseases that lead to vision loss or blindness.

How to Participate in ird mONTH


What is an ird?

An inherited retinal disease (IRD) is a condition caused by a specific genetic mutation or combination of genetic mutations that lead to vision loss or blindness.

Image is of a graphic representing a grandparent, parent, and child, with a DNA strand

Although there are differences between IRDs, they share some similarities including the following:

  1. IRDs are inherited, meaning a person is born with a specific genetic mutation that may cause vision loss or blindness at birth or later in life.
  2. Retinal damage is caused by specific genetic mutations that affect how retinal cells work and survive. Researchers have found over 300 genes that cause IRDs.
  3. Vision loss ultimately results from damage to the retina in the back of the eye.

There are over 20 IRDs including, retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt disease, Usher syndrome, Leber congenital amaurosis, Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, choroideremia, cone-rod dystrophy, X-linked retinoschisis, Bardet-Biedl syndrome, adult refsum disease, Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome, Best disease (vitelliform macular dystrophy), and optic nerve hypoplasia.

Do you or a loved one live with an IRD and have a question? Contact our Health Information Line at or 1.888.626.2995.

Help Spread the word

Image is of an IRD button that states "Download Toolkit"

To spread the word about IRD Awareness Month, download our social media toolkit and help raise awareness by using #FBCIRDMonth.

Toolkit instructions: Download the zip file, unzip the toolkit folder to a selected area on your computer, open the unzipped folder and select the social media image(s) you would like to use from the ones provided, and post the image on your social media feed or story using #FBCIRDMonth.

Inherited Retinal Disease (IRD) Awareness month is a Canadian-recognized promotional health month. For more information visit

Donation link that states "your gift brings hope to over 8 million living with blinding eye disease."

Join the Fight!

Learn how your support is helping to bring a future without blindness into focus! Be the first to learn about the latest breakthroughs in vision research and events in your community by subscribing to our e-newsletter that lands in inboxes the beginning of each month.

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