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February Is AMD And Low Vision Awareness Month

amd and low vision awareness

That means you never have to go visit an optometrist again, right? Wrong! February is AMD and low vision awareness month.

So you’ve already had (or you’re thinking about getting) LASIK. That means you never have to go visit an optometrist again, right? Wrong! February is AMD and low vision awareness month. We’re here to fill you in on why it’s important to be cautious about your eye health.

What Is AMD?

AMD is an acronym for age-related macular degeneration. According to PreventBlindness.org, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss for Americans over the age of 50. Though many older patients are diagnosed with glaucoma and cataracts later in life, macular degeneration tops those other two diseases in regards to vision loss.

What Happens With AMD?

Essentially, macular degeneration occurs when retinal cells begin to deteriorate. The macula, the center part of the retina, collects “data” and sends it to the optic nerve, which in turn, sends the message to the brain. Those messages are interpreted as the sense of sight. However, when those cells begin to weaken, those messages aren’t processed correctly. This leads to vision loss.

What Are The Symptoms Of AMD?

Macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease. However, many patients do not experience many issues with vision loss during the initial stages. Though, as the disease progresses, patients will begin to see dark spots, “waves,” and blurred vision. These symptoms will progressively worsen and will, in many cases, lead to total vision loss.

What Can I Do To Prevent AMD?

The three factors increase a person’s risk of AMD.

  • Race – Caucasians are more likely to develop the disease.
  • Genetics – Patients with a family history are more likely to get AMD.
  • Smoking – Smokers are twice as likely to develop AMD.


While the disease is not curable, patients can slow down its progression through several lifestyle changes. These include dietary changes, frequent exercise, minimal UV ray exposure, and avoiding smoking.

Regardless of whether or not you have had a LASIK procedure, it is important to schedule (at least) annual appointments your optometrist. EyeLASIK especially recommends speaking with your eye doctor if you have a family history of AMD.

Most of all, we encourage you to take care of your eyes, LASIK procedure or not. If you have specific questions about AMD and low vision awareness or symptoms, be sure to talk to your optometrist