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February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration/Low Vision Awareness Month

February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration/Low Vision Awareness Month

age-related macular degenerationAge-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in people 50 and older, and as you age, the risk increases. This disease affects more than 10 million Americans-more than cataracts and glaucoma combined.  

Age Related Macular Degeneration occurs when the macula, the central part of the retina that is important for reading and color vision, becomes damaged. Some common symptoms of ARMD are: gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly, distorted vision, a gradual loss of color vision, and a dark areas appearing in the center of vision. 

Board Certified Ophthalmologist and Retina Specialist with Clay Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Russell Pecoraro, M.D. says, “Age Related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in our senior population. Currently, it is not a curable disease, however it is possible to maximize the use of your existing vision, even if it is impaired. While there is no single approach that works for everyone, there are various treatment options available. Your physician will help you determine which treatment option is best for your type of eye disease, lifestyle and overall health.”


What is Low Vision?

Low vision can be caused by several eye diseases, one being Age Related Macular Degeneration.  It is described as “significant visual impairment that cannot be fully corrected with glasses, contact lenses, medication or eye surgery.” Activities like reading, shopping, cooking, writing, and watching TV may be challenging, and patients might benefit from low vision aids to help to maintain their independence.

Low vision aides coupled with special training, called vision rehabilitation, can provide skills for living with low vision. A low vision specialist will help determine the right combination of aids for your needs.

Low vision aids include:

  • Magnifying glasses, screens and stands
  • Telescopic lenses
  • High-intensity reading lamps
  • Large-print newspapers, magazines and books
  • Close-circuit TVs that magnify a printed page on screen
  • Computers and tablets

For more information about ARMD and low vision, please contact us at Clay Eye Surgeons & Physicians today!

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