February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Awareness Month

February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Awareness Month

One of the most common eye conditions and leading causes of vision loss in the ages 50 or older is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The central vision becomes affected due to damage of the macula. This is a small spot near the center of the retina and the part of the eye needed for sharp and central vision that allows the eye to see objects that are straight ahead.

In some cases, AMD may advance at a slower rate, so vision loss does not occur for a long time. In other cases, the disease may develop at a more rapid rate leading to a loss of vision in one or both eyes. As the condition advances it is common to have a blurred area near the center of vision. As time passes, it is possible for the blurred area to become larger or to cultivate blank spots in the central vision.

AMD alone does not lead to being completely blind, but the loss of central vision can interfere with everyday tasks, such as cooking, driving, reading, and seeing faces.

Who’s at Risk?

Risk factors of AMD are determined by age, smoking, race, and genetics.

Age: The biggest risk factor for AMD is age. After the age of 60 the condition is most likely to occur, but it can happen earlier.

Smoking: This can double the risk of AMD

Race: Caucasians have a higher chance of AMD than African Americans or Hispanics.

Genetics: Those with a family history of AMD are at higher risk.

Can Lifestyle Affect AMD?

Research has found that there are links between AMD and lifestyle choices. By making healthy choices it is possible to reduce or slow down the progression of AMD.

  • Refrain from smoking
  • Make exercise part of a routine
  • Keep healthy levels of blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Eat a diet full of green, leafy vegetables and fish

Can AMD Be Detected?

Symptoms typically do not occur in the early and intermediate stages of AMD. It can be detected with a comprehensive dilated eye exam, including the following:

  • Visual Acuity Test: An eye exam that checks how well you see the details of a letter or symbol from a specific distance.
  • Dilated Eye Exam: Drops placed in each eye widen the pupil, which is the opening in the center of the iris (the colored part of the eye). Dilating the pupil allows more light to enter the eye the same way opening a door allows light into a dark room. Once dilated, each eye is examined using a special magnifying lens that provides a clear view of important tissues at the back of the eye, including the retina, the macula, and the optic nerve
  • Amsler grid: A simple square containing a grid pattern and a dot in the middle. This design, when used correctly, can show problem spots in your field of vision.
  • Fluorescein angiogram: A medical procedure in which a fluorescent dye is injected into the bloodstream. The dye highlights the blood vessels in the back of the eye so they can be photographed.
  • Optical coherence tomography: a non-invasive imaging test. OCT uses light waves to take cross-section pictures of your retina.

Can NuEyes help with AMD?

As eye conditions worsen due to macular degeneration, normal low vision glasses are no longer as effective as they used to be. Words become blurred and faces appear fuzzy, a dark or blank spot in the center of vision hinders their capacity to see.

Everyday tasks become difficult and enjoyable events, such as attending an art exhibit at a local gallery are not as enjoyable as they used to be. Seeing far and seeing near becomes a challenge.

With a lack of vision and no cure, people wonder what options they have for sight with normal eyeglasses no longer being effective. The answer is available in the form of NuEyes ODG Smartglasses.

What Do NuEyes ODG Smartglasses Do?

  • A feature of autofocus switches between ranges according to tasks to simulate human eyes.
  • Short-range vision allows reading small text and seeing up close. Mid-range vision will help in seeing faces or watching TV.
  • Long-range vision allows sight for far away, such as looking outside a window.
  • The world is brought closer to you in the low vision glasses by two computer screens at the same time looking into your eyes.
  • You can tell the low vision glasses to make things bigger or smaller based on your needs.
  • It takes the world that’s out there and puts it right in front of you!