National AMD and Low Vision Awareness Month

National AMD and Low Vision Awareness Month


The leading cause of vision loss for people over the age of 50 is Age-related Macular Degeneration. This disease is a progressive, painless disease that is caused by deterioration of the macula. The Macula is a region on the retina in an area on the back of the eye which governs central vision. When it is affected by macular degeneration is causes blurring in the central area of a person’s vision, eventually leading to loss of central vision while leaving the peripheral vision intact. AMD can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages, and it can advance at such a slow rate that it can go unnoticed until it is quite severe. Other times, the breakdown of the macula moves so quickly that serious loss in vision can occur in what seems like overnight.

Types of AMD-

  • Wet
  • Dry

Risk Factors

As with other illnesses, some people are more likely to develop AMD. Those who have it in their family history, women, and Caucasians more so than other groups. If a person is extremely farsighted it is likely that the shape of their eye is extremely distorted, and because severe eye distortion is linked to the appearance of AMD it is more likely for a farsighted person than a nearsighted person to develop AMD. It is important to be aware of your risk factors, and to focusing on changing habits to reduce the risks you can control.

Warning Symptoms of Age-related Macular Degeneration

  • Waviness in a line which is supposed to be straight
  • Problems seeing far away
  • The inability to differentiate between colors
  • Decrease in the ability to notice details such as words in a book
  • Central Vision dark or empty spots

Low Vision

Low vision is an issue where a person has difficulty performing everyday tasks and their health care professional has exhausted options on improving it. This means things like reading mail, cooking, shopping, seeing the television or writing can be a severe challenge to the individual suffering from low vision.

Both of these issues can be quite serious. During the month of February we like to educate, spread awareness of these issues to help reduce the risks of individuals which are within their control.

Things you can do to reduce you risk of AMD

  • Quit smoking
  • Work to reduce your blood pressure
  • Wear sunglasses to reduce UV damage to the eye
  • Healthy diet
  • Exercise


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