More than 2 million Americans ages 50 and over have age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is an eye disease that causes central vision to gradually deteriorate. Almost 3 million Americans have low vision, according to the National Eye Institute.
Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization, has declared February as Age-related Macular Degeneration/Low Vision Awareness Month.
“The number of cases of those with AMD, retinal disorders and low vision are growing at an alarming rate,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “Only through education, early detection and treatment can we prevent considerable vision loss.”
Making a commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle also helps to save sight. Prevent Blindness recommends:
• Visit an eye doctor regularly
• Stop smoking
• Eat healthy foods, including foods rich in certain antioxidants
• Stay active
• Control blood pressure
• Avoid eye injuries that may cause permanent damage by wearing eye protection during physical activities
• When outdoors, no matter what time of year, always wear UV-blocking wrap-around sunglasses and a brimmed hat