The month of February is commemorated each year as Low Vision Awareness Month and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month. These designations provide an opportunity to heighten awareness about low vision, macular degeneration, and the vision rehabilitation services that can help people with a visual impairment make best use of the vision they have so that they can “keep doing the things they love.” The National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) asks people to “spread the word about vision rehabilitation!” To help increase knowledge about vision rehabilitation, NEI provides many resources, including listings of directories of services, vocational rehabilitation agencies, and eye doctors; fact sheets, articles, infographics and infocards; a video series, social media messages; and a dedicated webpage about vision rehabilitation. For more information and to access resources, visit NEI’s webpage on Low Vision Awareness Month.
This coming month also serves to increase knowledge about AMD, the leading cause of low vision in older adults. Vision loss from macular degeneration generally affects central vision, where the sharpest vision is experienced. During AMD Awareness Month, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is reminding people with or at risk for this eye condition that they can save their vision thanks to recent treatment advances, but early detection is critical. Read more from AAO here about AMD Awareness Month. For detailed information about the condition, visit the webpages from NEI on Age-Related Macular Degeneration and from AAO explaining What is Macular Degeneration? AAO also provides infographics that can be downloaded and shared on social media to help spread the word.