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Give Your Eyes Some Love: National Low Vision Awareness Month

POSTED ON February 7, 2011

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This month may have love at its focus or possibly even football with the recent Super Bowl but it also has our vision in mind as February is National Age-Related Macular Degeneration/Low-Vision Awareness month.  Our sense of sight is arguably the most valuable of our five senses and learning how to protect it from vision robbing diseases like age-related  macular degeneration (AMD) is a must to ensure our overall health in the future.

This month may have love at its focus or possibly even football with the recent Super Bowl but it also has our vision in mind as February is National Age-Related Macular Degeneration/Low-Vision Awareness month.  Our sense of sight is arguably the most valuable of our five senses and learning how to protect it from vision robbing diseases like age-related  macular degeneration (AMD) is a must to ensure our overall health in the future.

An exampe of what vision would be like for someone with AMD. Photo courtesy of: National Eye Institute

AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in American’s 60 years and older according to the National Eye Institute (NEI). With age, this eye disease breaks down the macula and slowly deteriorates vision.  The macula is the part of the eye that helps us see clearly and see fine detail as described by the NEI. AMD slowly robs individuals of their central vision which is used to read or drive.

According to Allaboutvision.com, AMD is painless but even without physical pain it can be devastating and emotionally painful for those gradually losing their vision in one or both eyes. Those with AMD or other low vision diseases often lose their ability to be independent adults as our vision is a primary resource of independence.  There is currently no cure for AMD but some treatments are available to help slow down the deterioration of sight.

The best cure today is preventative care with yearly eye examinations especially after the age of 40 as vision begins to change then according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.  Getting a baseline eye examination by an Indiana eye doctor like Dr. Tavel or one of his board certified associates can detect if you are at risk for AMD or other eye diseases that often times do not have symptoms.

Organizations like Foundation Fighting Blindness work to fund research to one day find a cure for AMD and other retinal degenerative diseases.  The Indianapolis chapter of Foundation Fighting Blindness recently met to learn more about research that is being completed by Dr. Jason Meyer at IUPUI.  Dr. Meyer ‘s work has found that stem cells may be able to be used to slow down retinal degenerative diseases in their earlier stages to thus save vision.  His preliminary findings give many hope that one day their vision may be able to be restored or vision loss severely halted.

February is a month to share news about vision robbing diseases like AMD with loved ones and also a time to schedule an ever important eye examination.  Dr. Tavel Family Eye Care has convenient weekend and evening hours to fit your schedule.  Give your eyes some love this February and visit Dr. Tavel!

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