Living with Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Coping Strategies and Tips

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye disease that affects millions of people worldwide, especially those over the age of 50. AMD causes damage to the macula, the part of the eye responsible for sharp, central vision, and can lead to vision loss and blindness. Living with AMD can be challenging, but there are coping strategies and tips that can help make daily life easier.



Seek support: AMD can be a difficult diagnosis to come to terms with, and it’s important to seek support from family, friends, or a professional counsellor if needed. Support groups can also provide a safe space to connect with others who understand the challenges of living with AMD.



Adapt your home environment: Simple modifications to your home can help make daily tasks easier. Increasing lighting and reducing glare can improve visual comfort, while using contrasting colours can help distinguish objects and surfaces. Adding handrails and grab bars can also provide support and prevent falls.

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Use assistive devices: Various assistive devices are available to help with tasks like reading, writing, and cooking. Magnifying glasses, electronic magnifiers, and reading apps can help enlarge text, while voice-activated devices and audio books can provide an alternative to visual tasks.

Wear Sunglasses: This may seem obvious, but it really is the most important thing we can do to protect our eyes in the sun. Good quality sunglasses with a high UV rating will block and protect the eyes from harmful UV rays.   Sunlight is the most substantial source of UV and blue light. The macula which controls all of our central vision, can be irreversibly damaged by blue light and over time could lead to a condition known as Age-related Macular Degeneration.

You can tell whether sunglasses offer UV protection by checking if the frame features the CE or UV400 mark or states 100% UV protection. Sunglasses with a UV 400 lens block all light rays with wavelengths of up to 400 nanometres, which covers all UVA and UVB rays. Always look out for these labels when you’re shopping for sunglasses to make sure they provide the best UV protection for your eyes. If you wear prescription sunglasses, you might consider adding a UV coating to your lenses so that your eyes are protected at all times. 



Follow your treatment plan: Depending on the type and severity of AMD, treatment options may include injections, laser therapy, or other procedures. It’s important to follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan to help prevent further vision loss.

Living with AMD can be challenging, but there are coping strategies and tips that can help make daily life easier. Seeking support, adapting your home environment, using assistive devices, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, following your treatment plan can all help improve quality of life for people with AMD.

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