Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Perhaps you have just learned that you or a loved one has age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD. If you are like many people, you probably do not know a lot about the condition or understand what is going on inside your eyes.

This page will give you a general overview of AMD. You will learn about the following:

  • Risk factors and symptoms of AMD
  • Treatment options
  • Low vision services that help people make the most of their remaining eyesight
  • Support groups and others who can help

The aim is to answer your questions and to help relieve some of the anxiety you may be feeling.

What is AMD?

AMD is a common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. It causes damage to the macula, a small spot near the center of the retina and the part of the eye needed for sharp, central vision, which lets us see objects that are straight ahead.

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Protect Your Eyes at Work

Protect Your Vision in the Workplace to Keep Eyes Healthy

As more people of all ages increase the amount of screen time, through computers, tablet devices, smartphones, etc., the risk of digital eye strain also increases.

computer use in officeAccording to a recent report from the Vision Council, “Eyes Overexposed: The Digital Device Dilemma,” nearly nine in 10 adults spend more than two hours each day using a digital device, with one in 10 people spending at least three-fourths of their waking hours on a digital device. Digital Eye Strain is defined as “physical discomfort felt after prolonged exposure to digital screens.” Symptoms may include dry and irritated eyes, blurred vision, eye fatigue, neck and back pain and headaches.

The Vision Council also states that most digital devices have light-emitting diodes (LED) that radiate blue wave-length light. Cumulative blue light exposure has been linked to slow degeneration of the retina, which could affect long-term vision problems such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

In 2015, Prevent Blindness began a partnership with Healthe and its EyeSafe™ technologies. Healthe will donate a portion of the sales of its EyeSafe products, including protective covers for digital phones, tablets and computer monitors that reduce exposure to harmful digital UV and High-Energy Visible (HEV) blue light emitted from such devices, to Prevent Blindness in support of its children’s eye health programs and resources.

For those who work outside of an office setting, Prevent Blindness warns of common causes for eye injuries and urges everyone to wear the proper eye protection for risks that include:

  • Flying objects (bits of metal, glass)
  • Tools
  • Particles
  • Chemicals
  • Harmful radiation
  • Any combination of these or other hazards

“No matter where you work, in an office setting or in an industrial career, your vision must be a priority,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “Taking care of our eyes today will have a tremendous impact on our future. We encourage everyone to talk to their eye care professionals to make sure they are doing everything they can to protect the gift of sight.”

Americans Share Inspiration to Preserve their Vision

February is Age-related Macular Degeneration Awareness (AMD) Month

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – From Valentine’s Day to American Heart Health Month, February is traditionally the most heart-driven month of the year. This February, Bausch + Lomb is partnering with Prevent Blindness to encourage the public to give vision the same attention as heart health during Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month. AMD is a progressive eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in people age 50 and older1.

“AMD diminishes central vision; what we use for everything from reading a computer screen to recognizing the faces of our loved ones,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We rely on our vision for so many things we do on a daily basis. It is imperative to not take that for granted and do everything we can today to help save sight.”

Babara Knickerbocker Beskind, a 92-year old conceptual designer living with AMD, is sharing what motivates her, while encouraging others to fight for their vision so they can continue to enjoy what is close to their hearts.

“Each day I fight to help preserve my vision so I can continue to work to help better the lives of others,” said Barbara Knickerbocker Beskind. “This is why I teamed up with Bausch + Lomb and Prevent Blindness© to raise awareness of AMD. At 92, I’m not going to let AMD or anything else prevent me from fulfilling my career dreams and enjoy the time I have with my family and friends.”

AMD is characterized by loss of central vision, usually in both eyes. The person may experience a dark or empty spot in the center of their vision, distorted, wavy vertical lines or blurry text. If left untreated, the majority of eyes affected with wet AMD will become functionally blind within two years. Websites such as JoyofSight.com provide helpful educational resources for people with AMD and their families.

“While there is no cure for AMD, there are steps you can take to help reduce your risk of progression,” said Dr. Michael Cooney, a New York-based retinal specialist and expert in the study of retinal diseases, such as AMD. “Based on two major clinical studies known as AREDS and AREDS2, the National Eye Institute recommends people with moderate to advanced AMD take a supplement with a specific combination of antioxidants and zinc. For my patients I recommend PreserVision AREDS 2 Formula. Be sure to talk to your eye doctor to see if an AREDS2 formula supplement may be right for you2.”

For more information on AMD or the #WhyEyeFight program, please visit JoyofSight.com or Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook with hashtag #WhyEyeFight and share your personal story of why you fight to help preserve your vision.

About PreserVision

PreserVision, developed by Bausch + Lomb, is the #1 doctor-recommended eye vitamin brand. PreserVision® AREDS 2 Formula eye vitamins are based on the 2013 AREDS2 study conducted by the National Eye Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

About Bausch + Lomb

Bausch + Lomb, a Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. company, is a leading global eye health organization that is solely focused on protecting, enhancing, and restoring people’s eyesight. Our core businesses include ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, contact lenses, lens care products, ophthalmic surgical devices and instruments. We develop, manufacture and market one of the most comprehensive product portfolios in our industry, which are available in more than 100 countries.