February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common eye diseases in older adults.  Age-related Macular degeneration affects central vision and can begin almost undetected.  Regular check-ups by an eye care professional are especially important to catch this disease early and start treatments to retain as much usable vision as possible.

Ways to monitor and slow the progress of the disease include regular check-ups with an eye care professional, self-monitoring your vision using an Amsler grid, having a diet filled with foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin (such as squash, spinach, peas, apples, etc.), quit or avoid smoking, maintain a healthy weight, reduce your blood pressure, and keep a healthy cholesterol level.

eye care professional performing an eye exam to a senior

5 Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration

  • AMD is a genetic disease.  Family history of AMD will put you at a higher risk.
  • The two types of AMD are Wet and Dry.  Wet AMD affects 10% of patients but this form of AMD causes greater vision loss.
  • AMD is most common in people 50 and older.
  • People with AMD may have trouble performing everyday tasks such as reading, writing, and driving and their vision cannot be corrected with regular glasses.
  • People who smoke are at a higher risk for AMD.

5 Quick Tips for Maintaining an Active Lifestyle with AMD

  • A handheld optical magnifier, prescribed by your eye care professional, will help you read fine print, such as food labels or recipe cards.
  • Use a portable video magnifier for reading items around your home, menus in restaurants, pricing at stores, food labels, etc.
  • Invest in a desktop video magnifier for reading bills, books, doing crafts, and balancing your checkbook.
  • Change out the lighting in your home for brighter more efficient lighting that will make it easier to see and read.
  • Wear UVA/UVB protective lenses while outside to offer better contrast and glare control and to protect your eyes from harmful UVA/UVB light.

Preventing or delaying the loss of vision is important and requires being informed, taking needed steps to change your lifestyle, and working closely with your eye care professional.  Finding ways to effectively use your remaining vision to maintain the lifestyle you are accustomed to is vital to your overall mental and physical well-being.  Connect with us to learn more about the low vision aids available and find the solution that is right for you.

Feb 01, 2022

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