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February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) & Low Vision Awareness Month

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(Image contains a man wearing a Patriot ViewPoint. Text reading, "Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) & Low Vision Awareness month. This month is set aside to educate individuals about Macular Degeneration and low vision, as well as promote awareness, share resources and encourage comprehensive vision examinations.". A graphic of an eye chart is displayed between the text. "Actual Client" is in the right hand corner of the photo. The Patriot Vision Industries phone number, website and social media handles are across the bottom.)



February is a time of year when people celebrate love and friendship. February is also designated Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness month. This observance is dedicated to raising awareness about these conditions and educating people on how to prevent, manage, and treat them. Medical professionals and organizations also share the importance of regular eye exams, healthy lifestyles, and early detection.

AMD is a progressive condition that affects the macula, a small central part of the retina responsible for sharp, detailed vision. As people age, the macula can deteriorate and cause vision loss, making it difficult to perform daily tasks such as reading, driving, and recognizing faces. AMD is a leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60, and it affects more than 10 million people in the United States alone. There are two primary forms of AMD: dry and wet. Dry AMD is most common and occurs when the cells in the macula break down and waste away. Wet AMD is when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula, creating a fluid leak that causes more damage. Although there is no cure for AMD, early detection and treatment can slow its progression and help maintain vision.

On the other hand, low vision refers to a visual impairment that standard glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery cannot correct. Various conditions, including AMD, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts, can cause it. Low vision can significantly impact daily activities and lead to feelings of frustration, depression, and isolation.

During February, organizations, medical professionals, and individuals raise awareness about AMD and low vision by coming together to spread the word about the importance of healthy lifestyles, regular eye exams, and the early detection of AMD and low vision. They also provide information on assistive technology and rehabilitation services that can help people with these conditions to maintain their independence and improve their quality of life.

There are several things that people can do to reduce their risk of developing AMD and low vision. Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, quitting smoking, and wearing sunglasses to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays are simple methods. But, most important, regular eye exams are crucial in detecting the early signs of these conditions and allowing for prompt treatment. During an eye exam, the doctor will check for signs of AMD or low vision and provide recommendations for treatment or further testing, if necessary. Early detection enables immediate treatment and slows disease progression.

Another valuable resource for people with AMD and low vision is assistive technology. Many different devices are available, including magnifying glasses, closed-circuit televisions, and large print materials, that can help people with these conditions perform daily activities and maintain their independence. In addition, many organizations, including the American Foundation for the Blind and the National Eye Institute, provide information on assistive technology and other resources for people with AMD and low vision. For more information on how assistive technology can enhance the quality of life for anyone with visual impairment, contact Patriot Vision Industries direct at (800) 364-1608.

In conclusion, February is an important month for people with age-related low vision since it is Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Awareness Month. By raising awareness about these conditions and providing education and resources, we can help people maintain their vision and improve their quality of life. So, let's work together to raise awareness about age-related macular degeneration and low vision and help prevent these debilitating conditions.