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AMD and Low-Vision Tips

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects roughly 37 percent of people over the age of 75. Loss of vision and its related problems has serious consequences as people age, and could have a major impact on a person’s independence, overall health, and confidence. Some indicators of AMD include a blind spot in the center of your vision, fading colors, blurry or wavy lines, and difficulty seeing in dim light.

Below are some tips to recognize, prevent, and live with AMD or low vision.

Get an eye exam
If you have concerns about your eyesight, or are experiencing difficulties, the first step is to get an eye exam. A professional will be able to examine your eyes and recommend glasses, contacts, laser therapy, or other solutions depending on your situation.

Good Diet and Exercise
A healthy diet with an abundance of leafy greens and foods high in antioxidants can help maintain good eye health. Regular exercise will also help with overall health.

Create More Contrast
Creating contrast around your home will make it easier for you to see specific items. Use a colored tablecloth with light-colored dishware, or place light shoes against a dark mud-catcher. Contrast makes items more visible to those with diminishing vision.

Ensure Good Interior and Exterior Lighting
Conduct an informal walk-through of your home to look for areas where low light may be a problem. Once you identify trouble spots, add additional lighting or use brighter lightbulbs to increase the amount of light available.

Obtain Vision Aids
Vision aids may include magnifying spectacles, hand magnifiers, and even video magnifiers. If reading is too difficult, try audiobooks or electronic books. Many smart devices are available today that can increase access to information as well, such as computers that can read aloud, talking watches or timers, and smartphones or tablets.

Additional Reading
American Academy of Ophthalmology: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/low-vision-aids-rehabilitation

Prevent Blindness: http://www.preventblindness.org/AMD-age-related-macular-degeneration

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