February is National Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Awareness Month. This month, take the time to understand AMD and take note if you or your loved one may be losing vision.
It’s common not to know about the condition, but it’s important to take the time to learn and understand how exactly your eyes work and what happens if you develop AMD.
What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration
According to the National Eye Institute, AMD is a common eye condition as well as the leading cause of lost vision in older adults aged 50 and over. AMD causes damage to the macula, which is needed for sharp vision that lets you see objects that are straight ahead of you. For some, this condition develops slowly over time, and for others, the disease can progress fast and cause vision loss in both eyes. Over time, vision will become blurry and objects will not appear as bright as they once did.
AMD does not cause complete blindness, however, the loss of central vision can make handling everyday tasks – such as reading, writing, driving and communicating face-to-face – more difficult.
Unfortunately, age is a major risk factor for AMD. The source said that the disease usually occurs in people after the age of 60, but it can occur sooner. Other risk factors include smoking, race, family history and genetics.