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February is (AMD) Age-related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month.

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 February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month. In the effort to help educate patients about the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options for this disease among older Americans.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration, also known as AMD, affects millions of Americans 50 years of age and older.  AMD is a disease that affects the part of the back of the eye called the macula. The disease occurs when the macula, the part of the retina that lets you see color and fine detail becomes damaged.  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.

If you are 50 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 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.
  • Learn about the signs and symptoms of AMD.  In the early stages, AMD doesn’t have any symptoms. However, there are complications that a patient should be aware of that become noticeable as the condition progresses. These include:• Straight lines begin to appear out of shape
    • Dark or white blurry areas appear in the center of vision
    • Change or decline color perception
  •  Wear UV protection sunglasses rated 99% to 100% UVA and UVB
  • Take good care of your health overall.

Remember that awareness makes a difference. With no cure for Age-related Macular Degeneration, the best defense against the eye disease is early detection. 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.