Prevent Blindness America has designated February as Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month. This is an effort to help educate eyecare patients about the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options for this disease among older Americans.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration, also known as AMD, is a disease that affects part of the back of the eye called the macula, the central part of the retina. This can cause the center part of your vision to become blurry or wavy. It could also cause a blind spot in the center of your vision.
It is a leading cause of blindness among Americans 65 years of age or older.
If you are 65 years of age or older, make sure that you:
- Visit your eye doctor regularly. An eye doctor can check for signs of AMD by doing something that is known as a dilated eye exam. This allows the doctor to get a better look at the back of your eye to check for diseases such as AMD. Since a dilated eye exam is not typically part of an eyeglass or contact lens exam, make sure that you ask your eye doctor for a dilated eye exam.
- Learn about the signs and symptoms of AMD. Some symptoms of AMD are: Items with straight lines such as flag poles look wavy. Things in your line of vision look blurry. For example the type on a book page looks blurred. A dark or empty spot is in the center of your line of vision.
- Take good care of your health overall.
Remember that awareness makes a difference. If you know the signs and symptoms of AMD and get regular eye exams, you may be able to prevent vision loss. For more information, make sure to talk to an eye doctor. If you don’t have an eye doctor, you can locate one using our Find An Eye Doctor locator here.