February is Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month, and eye specialists are trying to educate seniors, so they get their eyes checked for the condition every two years. AMD is the leading cause of blindness among Americans over the age of 50.
There are two types of AMD – dry and wet. Nearly 90 percent of the two million who suffer from the condition have the dry type, which is not painful and vision loss occurs slowly. However, the 10 percent who have wet AMD experience vision loss rapidly.
"Although AMD is not curable, the data from the clinical trials that we monitor continues to strengthen our ability to choose treatment options for patients that can at a minimum prevent further vision loss from the disease and in many cases actually help recover lost vision," said Maine Retina Specialist Dr. Scott Steidl of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine.
Seniors who suffer from AMD may have an increased risk of falling and hurting themselves. Family caregivers who are worried about their loved one can purchase a medical alert, which a person can use to contact emergency services in the event of a fall or injury.