AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month: How You Can Help and Take Part In It

portrait of beautiful joyful blonde female smiling with fingers in okay gesture.It’s not uncommon for people to suffer from low vision. The United States has more than 20 million people with some form of vision loss, many of whom remain undiagnosed. 

This February, when AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month takes place, is a great time to check your vision. 

Here are a few tips on how to make the most of this month:

Get A Regular Eye Exam

If you last had an eye exam a while ago, make an appointment with an eye doctor. These exams can help detect vision problems early on.

In addition to these tips, you can also help spread awareness about AMD and low vision by talking to your friends and family about the importance of regular eye exams.

Take Breaks When You’re Using The Computer

If you work on the computer all day, your eyes can get tired. To reduce eye fatigue, take breaks every 20 minutes or so. During your break, look away from the screen and focus on something else in the room.

Use Proper Lighting When You Read

If you have trouble reading, try using a lamp with a higher-wattage bulb. Place the lamp, so it shines directly on the page, not over your shoulder. Natural light is often the best choice. If possible, position your reading area near a window with natural daylight. If natural light is insufficient or unavailable, use well-distributed, cool-white or daylight-balanced LED or fluorescent bulbs for artificial lighting. Avoid warm or yellowish lighting, as it can strain your eyes.

Invest In A Magnifier

If you have trouble reading small print, consider investing in a magnifier. These devices can make reading books, newspapers, and other materials. Hands-free magnifiers with stands or wearable magnifying visors can make reading more convenient and comfortable. Electronic or digital magnifiers are available that offer adjustable magnification levels and allow you to capture and freeze images for easier reading. They often have a screen that displays the enlarged text.

Donate to Organizations That Support People With Vision Loss

These organizations often provide resources and support to people with vision loss and funding for research into treatments and cures. Some well-known organizations include the American Foundation for the Blind, the National Federation of the Blind, and the American Council of the Blind. Additionally, there are many local and regional organizations. Take the time to learn about the specific programs and initiatives of these organizations. Understand how they help individuals with vision loss, whether it’s through advocacy, education, vision rehabilitation, or other services.

Participate in Local Events and Fundraisers

Walks and runs, educational seminars, and more happen during AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month in many communities. Find out what’s happening at your local organizations.

Share Information About AMD and Low Vision on Social Media

Use hashtags like #AMDawareness and #LowVisionAwareness to help spread the word and raise awareness about these conditions. Share information about the organization(s) you choose to donate to on social media or with friends and family to encourage others to contribute as well.

Encourage Your Friends and Family to Get Regular Eye Exams

Checking your eyes regularly can prevent many vision problems. If your loved one has not seen an eye doctor, encourage them to.

Help Friends and Family Members Who Have Vision Loss

Whether helping them read a book or offering to drive them to appointments, there are many ways you can help those with vision loss. Let them know you’re there to support them. Understand that vision loss can be challenging and frustrating. Be patient and empathetic, and avoid making assumptions about what they can or cannot do. Help them rearrange their living space to reduce hazards and increase accessibility. This may include removing tripping hazards, ensuring good lighting, and using color contrast to distinguish objects. You could also help them label and organize items in their home, making it easier to locate things. This can include labeling clothing, food items, and household objects.

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