FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information:
Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate
(614) 464-2020 x.105
Prevent Blindness Declares February as Age-related Macular Degeneration/Low Vision Awareness Month
Columbus, OH (February 7, 2020) – Prevent Blindness has declared February as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)/Low Vision Awareness Month to help educate the public on AMD types, treatment options, low vision services and more.
According to estimates from the Prevent Blindness report, “Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems,” more than 2.2 million Americans, including 88,546 Ohioans, ages 50 and over have AMD in the year 2020. AMD is an eye disease that affects central vision and may occur in one or both eyes. Symptoms usually appear gradually over time, and may include difficulty seeing in the center of vision, straight lines appearing wavy or missing, and trouble seeing in dim light.
Risk factors for AMD include:
- Family history of AMD
- Aging – those over 60 years old
- Race – Caucasians have a higher rate of AMD
- Sex – females have a higher rate of AMD (may be because they live longer)
- Light colored eyes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High cholesterol
- High sun exposure
- Poor diet – with low intake of anti-oxidants
The Vision Council states that one in 28 Americans age 40 and above have low vision. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, low vision refers to vision loss that cannot be corrected by medical or surgical treatments or conventional eyeglasses. AMD, and other eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa, can cause low vision.
The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness offers educational materials at no cost through its dedicated web pages and its toll-free number. Resources include:
Prevent Blindness AMD Learning Center- The AMD Learning Center, found at preventblindness.org/amd, provides a variety of educational tools including fact sheets, a free downloadable Amsler grid, and more.
Living Well with Low Vision- This online resource, lowvision.preventblindness.org, includes a self-help guide to nonvisual skills, a visual skills workbook for people with age-related macular degeneration, a guide to caring for the visually impaired, and a range of resource directories, including a searchable database of more than 1,500 paratransit services around the country.
“Through early detection and effective management, the effects of AMD, one of the leading causes of vision loss, can be lessened,” said Sherry Williams, President & CEO of the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness. “We encourage everyone to work with their eye care professional to create and adhere to an effective treatment plan to help save sight for years to come.”
For more information on AMD, low vision and other eye disease, please contact Prevent Blindness at (800) 301-2020 or visit pbohio.org
About Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness serves all 88 Ohio counties, providing direct services to more than 1,000,000 Ohioans annually and educating millions of consumers about what they can do to protect and preserve their precious gift of sight. For more information or to make a contribution, call 800-301-2020. Visit us on the web at pbohio.org, Facebook at facebook.com/pbohio/, or Twitter at twitter.com/PB_Ohio.