Many don’t realize that millions of people in the United States, and all over the world, are living with some sort of vision impairment that impacts their life. Low vision is a term that is used by eye care professionals to indicate that a person has partial sight but their vision cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, surgery or medication.
Even if not completely blind, those with low vision find their ability to perform everyday activities is limited, creating obstacles for living an independent life. Low Vision Awareness Month was founded with the idea that those with low vision deserve to have their needs met, as well as raising awareness for the prevention of low vision.
About Low Vision Awareness Month
The National Eye Institute in partnership with the Prevent Blindness organization and other medical professionals, supports the celebration of Low Vision Awareness Month. In addition, February is also associated with awareness regarding Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), which is one of the most common contributors to low vision.
Celebrated for more than a decade, Low Vision Awareness Month offers an opportunity for vision care professionals, teachers, primary care doctors, pediatricians and many others to get involved. The hope is that more people around the world can gain an understanding of preventable causes of low vision, as well as becoming more aware of the ways those who already have low vision can be treated and cared for.
How to Observe Low Vision Awareness Month
Looking for ideas to participate in and observe Low Vision Awareness Month? Check out some of these ideas to get started:
Learn Facts About Low Vision
Consider some of these important facts when it comes to observing Low Vision Awareness Month:
In 2002, more than 160 million people all over the world were considered to have some sort of visual impairment, with 27 million considered blind and 124 million with the status of low vision.
Low vision most commonly occurs in older adults, with 82% of blind people falling into the 50 years or older category.
The use of low vision devices can help the majority of people with low vision to function better in their daily lives. While they won’t cure the low vision, they will help to utilize it to the highest benefit.
The leading cause of low vision in the elderly is age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Visit an Eye Care Professional
One of the best ways to celebrate Low Vision Awareness Month is to make an appointment to see an eye care professional. While this is useful for people of all ages, it is especially important for those who are over 50 years old. Those who have aging family members can do them a favor by helping them to get to the eye doctor. Prevent low vision by catching issues early!
Studies show that certain activities can help to reduce AMD, a leading cause of Low Vision in the elderly. Try these tips for preventative care:
- Wear sunglasses
- Eat a low-fat diet
- Quit smoking
- Get regular eye exams