Prevent Blindness America Designates February AMD Awareness Month

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CHICAGO— Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has again designated February as Age-related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month in an effort to point out the symptoms, risk factors and treatment options for older adults who experience low vision or are candidates for vision loss.

Age-related Macular Degeneration, or AMD, is the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 and older, and currently affects more than 2 million Americans ages 50 and over. This number has increased 25 percent over the last decade, as recorded by the PBA 2012 Vision Problems in the U.S.

To highlight the issue this February, PBA is offering online resources at  preventblindness.org/amd to educate patients and caretakers about the disease. The website includes tools and information related to AMD, including a downloadable Amsler Grid which can help identify vision abnormalities linked to AMD.

“Fortunately, steps we can take today to maintain our overall health can directly benefit the eyes,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America. “We encourage all adults to make an appointment with their eye doctor today to develop a plan to protect vision for a lifetime.”

Recommendations from PBA to maintain healthy eyesight include regular visits to an eye doctor, smoking cessation, healthy eating with emphasis on antioxidants and staying active. Additionally, protecting eyes from the sun with UV-blocking sunglasses and brimmed hats can also prevent eye injury that leads to AMD.

For more information about AMD symptoms, treatment and prevention, contact Prevent Blindness America at (800) 331-2020 or visit preventblindness.org/amd.