In addition to AMD awareness, February has also been named Low Vision Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about visual impairment and rehabilitation for those who are living with low vision.
What is Low Vision?
Low vision is the term used to describe significant visual impairment that can’t be corrected fully with glasses, contact lenses, medication or eye surgery, it includes:
Loss of best-corrected visual acuity to worse than 20/70 in the better eye. Significant visual field loss. Tunnel vision (lack of vision in the periphery) and blind spots are examples of visual field loss. Legal blindness. In the United States, legal blindness typically is defined as visual acuity of 20/200 or worse (in the better eye, with the best possible vision correction in place) or a field of view (visual field) that is constricted to 20 degrees or less.
Disability statistics from the 2014 American Community Survey show that 2.3 percent of individuals ages 16 and over have a visual disability or low vision.
Following are the definitions of visual acuity, according to the World Health Organization. These ratings are for vision in the better eye with the best possible prescription corrective lens:
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among older Americans, but new treatments have dramatically changed the course of this disease over the last 10 years, making AMD more manageable than ever before. During AMD Awareness Month in February, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is reminding people that even though currently there is no cure for age-related macular degeneration, there are a number of things you can do to slow its effects and prevent blindness, early detection being a critical first step. AMD is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in people over 50 and is rapidly growing, worldwide.
What is AMD? – AMD is a common eye condition and a leading cause of blindness in those 50 and older. Aging can cause the macula to slowly degenerate and reduce central vision. – AMD often advances so slowly that vision loss does not occur for many years and traces of the disease can go unnoticed. In others, the disease may progress faster and lead to vision loss in one or both eyes. Over time, objects in vision may not appear as bright as they once were and a blurred area in vision is common, further leading …