February is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness
Many older adults think vision loss is just a normal part of aging, but it doesn’t have to be. Reduce your risk of vision loss by learning about age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disease that can blur your central vision. It is a leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years or older, and more than 2.9 million Americans age 40 and older have low vision. Low vision is a visual impairment that is not correctable through surgery, medicine, eyeglasses, or contact lenses.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Smoking significantly increases the risk of developing AMD
High cholesterol and high blood pressure are risk factors for AMD
AMD is a significant cause of blindness worldwide and is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness for Americans aged 65 years and older.
People with a family history of AMD are at greater risk.
AMD affects whites more often than other races and ethnicities, such as African Americans and Hispanics.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Get regular eye exams and tell your eye doctor about your family history
Quit or never start smoking
Live a healthy lifestyle and lower cholesterol
For a directory of financial assistance programs, visit https://preventblindness.org/vision-care-financial-assistance-information/.
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