Celebrating AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month: Understanding and Supporting Those with Vision Impairments

Senior man examined by an ophthalmologist, eye examAs February marks AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month, it’s a perfect time to learn more about vision impairments and how to support those with them. Mild to severe vision impairments can impact every aspect of a person’s life. Understanding how to support those with vision impairments and their challenges is important.

What’s AMD and Low Vision?

AMD, or age-related macular degeneration, is a leading cause of vision loss for people over 50. It occurs when the macula, a small area in the retina’s center, begins to deteriorate. This can result in difficulty with reading, driving, and recognizing faces. On the other hand, low vision refers to a visual impairment that cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. Various factors, including AMD, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and more, may cause it.

The Impact of AMD and Low Vision

AMD and low vision can significantly impact a person’s daily life and overall quality of life. It can limit their ability to perform basic tasks, participate in activities they enjoy, and interact with the world around them. It can also lead to social isolation and depression.

Ways to Support Those with AMD and Low Vision

There are several ways to support and advocate for those with AMD and low vision:

  1. Educate yourself: learning about AMD and low vision can help you better understand the challenges and needs of those living with these conditions.
  2. Offer assistance: offer to read mail or documents, help with grocery shopping, or assist with other tasks as needed.
  3. Support research: donate to organizations that fund research for treatments and cures for AMD and low vision.
  4. Use inclusive language: when communicating with someone with AMD or low vision, avoid using terms like “see,” “look,” or “watch,” and instead use words like “read,” “observe,” or “perceive.”

Resources for Those with AMD and Low Vision

Numerous resources are available for those with AMD and low vision, including support groups, assistive technology, and low-vision rehabilitation services. Some organizations that offer support and resources include:

  • The American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF)
  • The National Eye Institute (NEI)
  • The Low Vision Rehabilitation Association (LVRA)

Our goal at Central Florida Eye Institute in Ocala is to make sure you have healthy eyes. Maintaining optimal eye health with friendly service in a professional environment is what we do best. You can schedule your visit by calling (352) 237-8400.

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