Prevent Blindness Offers Free Resources for AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month

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CHICAGO— Prevent Blindness has declared February as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)/Low Vision Awareness Month. In observance of the month, the group is offering free resources to educate the public through their website as well through a toll free number by phone.

According to Prevent Blindness, more than 2 million Americans aged 50 and over have AMD, and nearly 3 million Americas have low vision, according to the National Eye Institute. As stated in the 2013 report from Prevent Blindness, “Cost of Vision Problems: The Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders in the United States” blindness and low vision costs the U.S. more than $3.7 billion annually.

The group has set up dedicated web pages offering educational materials on prevention and coping with eye disease and low vision such as:

Living Well with Low Vision, a new page offering a list of searchable, local low vision resource directories and a blog authored by patient advocate and low vision educator, Dan Roberts, MME;

AMD: Awareness Makes a Difference, an annual campaign that provides ECPs and the public with a free Amsler grid to monitor central vision and help identify vision abnormalities linked to AMD;

The Prevent Blindness AMD Learning Center, which provides information and fact sheets such as AMD risk factors, treatment options and an Adult Vision Risk Assessment tool; and

SeeJaneSee.org, a new online resource that offers free eye health information tailored specifically to women on a variety of topics.

Downloadable resources available from Prevent Blindness include an AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration) fact sheet; Facts about Age-related Macular Degeneration, large print; Tips for Living with AMD; and Tips for Living with Low Vision.

Prevent Blindness recommends maintaining a healthy lifestyle to save sight and identifies precautions such as regular visits to an eye doctor, quitting smoking, eating healthy foods such as those rich in antioxidants, staying active, controlling blood pressure, wearing eye protection to avoid eye injuries during physical activity and wearing UV-blocking wrap-around sunglasses and a brimmed hat to keep eyes healthy.

“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.”

For more information on AMD, low vision and other eye disease, contact Prevent Blindness at (800) 331-2020 or visit preventblindness.org/amd.