Every month, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recognizes one or more observances dedicated to raising awareness about important eye health topics. National months of recognition are so important because they draw attention to important health issues such as AMD and increase knowledge of prevention and treatment while promoting continued research.
February is Low Vision Awareness and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) month. Although there is currently no known cure for AMD, awareness of this irreversible condition in recent years has brought us so much new information about AMD so we can understand what it is, how to reduce our risk and what technology is available to prevent or slow down the effects.
What is AMD?
AMD — short for Age-Related Macular Degeneration — is the leading cause of low vision and blindness in Americans aged 50 years and older and affects 1.6 million Americans.
AMD is a progressive disease with no known cure. It’s known for slowly stealing an unknowing patients’ vision as it affects the retina, the paper-thin tissue lining the back of your eye, and causes the cells in the area to die. As a result, people with AMD may see blind spots and other distortions in the very center frame of their vision.
For example, this is what the view looks like for someone with healthy vision:
For people with AMD, the view is much different
There two types of AMD are dry and wet. The dry form is more common than the wet form, with about 90 percent of AMD patients diagnosed with dry AMD. Although they are both serious, the wet form of the disease usually leads to more severe vision loss.
Signs and symptoms
At first (and for a long time) you may not have any signs of AMD at all, so people may not even know they have it. That’s why it’s so important to have regular appointments with your eye doctor to stay on top of your eye health. This gives your doctor the chance to catch the disease early so treatment can be started to slow the disease.
Once the disease has progressed, patients report large blind spots, sensitivity to glare, fuzzy vision, and distortion of sight making it hard to read your favorite books, enjoy hobbies and recognize your loved ones.
What causes AMD and can we reduce our risk?
While the causes of Age-related Macular Degeneration are complex, we know that being over the age of 60 and having a family history of AMD play a major role in someone’s likelihood of developing the condition.
The good news is that several of the risk factors of AMD are controllable. For example, smoking, being overweight and having high blood pressure all increase a person’s risk for AMD. Therefore, taking care of your eye health is essential in lowering your chances of developing the disease.
Advances In Technology
Unknown to many, blue light plays a major part in aggravating Macular Degeneration, which is why many choose to use protective glasses and blue light safe lighting and technology to help slow down the progression of MD.
Dr. Lite is the first and only company to offer a medical-grade, doctor-recommended line of products designed to keep eyes healthy and prevent damage caused by harmful blue light exposure. Clients around the world who experience macular degeneration symptoms have seen a drastic improvement in their visual acuity, contrast, and mobility with the help of Dr. Lite Lamps.
Every day we help those with AMD live happy and healthy lives by getting them back to reading, watching TV and seeing the faces of their loved ones. If you or someone you know is living with low vision or has a high risk of developing AMD, please accept our 35% off low vision month sale and give them the gift of clarity with Dr. Lite Lamps.