A great deal of emphasis has been placed on heart health in February, because it is National Heart Health Month. However, February carries more than one national theme. Were you aware that February is also AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month?
It is important to raise our awareness about this challenging condition, because it affects a huge population of people – mostly women – over the age of 50. In cases of AMD/Low Vision, home care services are a great benefit to sufferers who may require assistance with daily chores, errands and personal care.
According to the Health Alliance Plan website*, “Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss for individuals age 50 and older.” Macular degeneration progresses painlessly as the macula – the spot on the retina at the back of the eye responsible for central vision – becomes diseased causing central vision to blur, while peripheral vision remains intact. AMD affects each person differently, going unrecognized with slower progression, while seemingly occurring overnight with others.
The National Institutes of Health Senior Health Pages offers the following explanation of Low Vision: “People with low vision find everyday tasks difficult to do – even with the aid of regular glasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery. Reading the mail, shopping, cooking, seeing the television, and writing can seem challenging.”
Involuntary risk factors for AMD/Low Vision are age, obviously, and gender. Caucasians are more likely to develop the conditions than any other race, primarily due to lighter eye colors. Genetics also offers a greater risk of AMD/Low Vision if it is found in your family’s health history.
Voluntary risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, UV exposure, diet and exercise. These scenarios are under the control of the individual, and all can play a part in developing AMD/Low Vision.
If you or someone you love over the age of 50, suffers from AMD/Low Vision and would benefit from home care services to assist with activities of daily living, contact the compassionate professionals at Home Helpers today and schedule a free in-home consultation: 727-942-2539.
*Information from Health Alliance Plan website