February is Low Vision Awareness Month

February is AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month, a campaign that focuses on raising awareness of macular degeneration and other vision problems. This years slogan, “Don’t Lose Site,” is of particular importance to Prevent Blindness America spokeswoman, Jane Seymour, who became involved in the campaign following her mother’s two decades struggle with macular degeneration.

Prevent Blindness America plans to promote awareness of vision disorders this month through online and print media campaigns in an attempt to increase awareness of the prevalence of vision problems and symptoms that should lead to an immediate visit to an ophthalmologist.

Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD may be, initially, asymptomatic. In its beginning stages, AMD is most often detected by your eye doctor during your routine examinations. AMD is common in people over the age of 50, making it important to visit your eye doctor yearly for check ups as you age.

Macular degeneration symptoms may include:

  • Difficulties working in low light settings
  • Blurriness of printed words
  • Difficulties recognizing faces
  • Blurry or blind spots in central vision
  • An increase in visual haziness

In most cases, AMD is slow to progress. However, a sudden onset of any of these symptoms may indicate a more serious form of the disorder and should be brought to the attention of your eye doctor right away.

Treating AMD

Low Vision Awareness Month focuses on early detection of AMD because it is essential for preserving vision. There is no way to reverse damage once it has been done by AMD, but your eye doctor can help you slow future damage and preserve your vision well into the future.

Most often, treating macular degeneration includes lifestyle changes such as improving your diet, adding certain nutritional supplements, quitting smoking, and increasing physical activity. Medications and surgical treatments may also be used, but this will be dependent on your unique needs.

To learn more about macular degeneration and other vision disorders, please locate an experienced ophthalmologist in your area to schedule an initial consultation today.