Is your vision, or that of a loved one, slowly deteriorating? Chances are the change could be caused by age-related macular degeneration. It is a problem that affects many residents and comes in two types, both of which led to low-vision. Each February, home healthcare agencies and others in the long-term care community seek to spread valuable information about the condition as part of National Age-related Macular Degeneration Month.
Although the disorder largely affects people who are 65-years of age or older, it truly knows no age limit. So, anyone may end up being diagnosed with the disorder. Surefire signs that a person should consider being tested for age-related macular degeneration include, but aren’t limited to dark spots appearing in the main field of vision and incidents of blurriness when reading.
Preliminary testing may be done at home with the aid of a readily available tool known as an Amsler Grid. Primary testing should ideally be performed by a licensed ophthalmologist. Optometrists may also offer AMD testing. However, if they suspect that a person has age-related macular degeneration, they will need to refer him or her to an ophthalmologist for treatment.
Treatments used to address low-vision will obviously vary on a case-by-case basis. Among the list of treatments frequently recommended by ophthalmologists are photocoagulation, adhering to special diets, periodic eye injections andphotodynamic therapy. They may also refer patients to home healthcare agencies and other resources that can provide assistance with activities of daily living. Examples include businesses that offer low-vision patients canes, service animals, magnifying aids, large print books, speech-to-text software and Braille education.
To learn more about how people successfully cope with low-vision and age-related macular degeneration, please contact us at Home Matters. As home healthcare experts, we work with the state’s top-notch, in-home caregivers year-round.