For years my paternal grandmother has suffered from Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). It has been frustrating for her and heartbreaking for the rest of us.
I remember spending countless weekends at my grandma’s house eating oven-popped popcorn, drinking her secret recipe orange tang spice tea, and watching Rainbow Bright videos. We’d go shopping, make crafts, and read together. Sadly, my children don’t know the same grandma. She has lost nearly all of her sight. She doesn’t drive. She doesn’t read or cook anymore. She can hardly take care of herself and only very rarely leaves her home. This is all because of AMD.
What is AMD?
AMD is a retinal degenerative disease that causes a progressive loss of central vision and is the most common cause of vision loss in individuals over 55. An estimated 10 million people in the U.S. either have AMD or are at substantial risk of developing it.
What are the symptoms?
People with AMD may first notice a blurring of central vision, especially during tasks such as reading or sewing. Also, straight lines may appear distorted or warped. As the disease progresses, blind spots may form within the central visual field. In most cases, if one eye has AMD, the other eye will develop the disease.
Check out the short video I made of my littles answering some questions about blindness…
The exciting news is that a cure is in sight!
The Foundation Fighting Blindness, a non-profit organization, has provided funding for research on cures for blindness, specifically AMD, since 1971. In fact, with the research FFB has already made possible, treatments to stop and in some cases even reverse retinal disease is a reality. This is great news for people over 55 and their families. With AMD it is nearly impossible for grandparents to enjoy the little things in life such as playing games, watching movies and reading to their grandchildren.
For a free PDF with more information about age related blindness, click here.
We are all encouraged by The Foundation Fighting Blindness and the advances they are making. My grandmother is already in her late 70s, and honestly, I don’t see her living much longer.
She has all but given up hope. But thanks to the Foundation, there is hope for others suffering from AMD.
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Foundation for Fighting Blindness for providing this advertising opportunity to promote solutions to those with degenerative eye disease. I did receive a small compensation for this post.