COLUMBUS — Today, more than 2 million Americans ages 50 and older have age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to the Prevent Blindness report, “Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems.”
age-related macular degeneration affects central vision, where sharpest vision occurs, causing difficulty conducting daily tasks such as driving, reading, and recognizing faces.
Prevent Blindness has declared February as Age-related Macular Degeneration/Low Vision Awareness Month to help educate the public on AMD types, treatment options and more.
Factors that increase risk of AMD are: Family history of AMD; Aging – those over 60 years old; Race – Caucasians have a higher rate of AMD; Sex – females have a higher rate of AMD may be because they live longer; Light colored eyes; Smoking; Heart disease; High blood pressure (hypertension); High cholesterol; Obesity; High sun exposure; Poor diet – with low intake of anti-oxidants.
Prevent Blindness offers educational materials at no cost through its web pages and its toll-free number.
Resources include: Prevent Blindness AMD Learning Center- The AMD Learning Center, found at preventblindness.org/amd, provides a variety of educational tools including an Adult Vision Risk Assessment tool, fact sheets and more.
Living Well with Low Vision: This growing online resource, lowvision.preventblindness.org, offers information ranging from an extensive list of searchable, local low vision resource directories, to an informative blog with news for people living with age-related eye disease and significant visual impairment and their caregivers, authored by patient advocate and low vision educator Dan Roberts,
“People may have AMD and not know it, as the decrease in clear vision may occur slowly,” said Sherry Williams, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate. “Although there is no cure for AMD, vision loss may be lessened if detected and treated early.”
For more information on AMD, low vision and other eye disease, contact Prevent Blindness at 800-301-2020 or visit www.pbohio.org.