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Macular Degeneration Resources for Patients and Caregivers

  • Fact Sheet
Published on:
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This list is compiled by Macular Degeneration Research, a BrightFocus Foundation program. Resources and information that provide products, services, and other support for people with macular degeneration and their families.

Macular Degeneration Research, a BrightFocus Foundation program, funds promising research investigating ways to slow, treat, or prevent macular degeneration, and serves as a resource for the latest news about research, prevention, healthy choices, treatment, and caregiving.

The following publications are available in English and Spanish:
• Macular Degeneration Essential Facts
• Safety and the Older Driver
• The Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Eye Doctor

To order publications, call 1-855-345-6647, email, or download them here.

Print and Audio Materials for the Visually Impaired

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. Offers hundreds of products designed for people of all ages who are blind and visually impaired.

Choice Magazine Listening. A talking magazine provided at no cost to visually impaired and physically disabled adults.

International Association of Audio Information Services. A directory of radio reading services in the U.S., Canada, and several other countries.

NFB-NEWSLINE®. Free nationwide telephone newspaper service for the blind and visually impaired.

That All May Read. A program of the National Library Service (NLS) of the Library of Congress. Through a national network of cooperating libraries, the NLS administers a free library program of braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States free of charge.
(202) 707-5100

Professional Organizations with Eye Care Services

American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). Search for ophthalmologists by state and locality, and read information on eye health and other eye-related topics.
(415) 561-8500

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Occupational therapists with certifications in low vision therapy are trained to help you customize treatment programs to improve your ability to perform daily activities and train you on adaptive equipment usage. Medicare may cover this type of service, but you’ll need a referral from your doctor.
(301) 652-6611

American Optometric Association (AOA). Search for optometrists near you and access expert answers to questions about your eyes.

Financial Assistance

BenefitsCheckUp. Service of the National Council on Aging (NCOA) that helps people to understand the benefits available from federal, state, and local programs.
(571) 527-3900

EyeCare America. Service of AAO that provides eye exams and up to one year of care to U.S. citizens and legal residents through volunteer ophthalmologists, often at no out-of-pocket cost for those who qualify.

Federal Government Programs and Services

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Provides the latest information and resources on government-sponsored health programs, including:

  • Medicare, which is a federal program that provides some coverage for people who meet certain qualifications. Services may include eye exams, eyeglasses, and vision rehabilitation services, among others.
  • Medicaid programs, which are run by individual states.

Social Security Administration (SSA), including financial assistance to those who are legally blind or who have vision problems that prevent them from employment.

Veterans Benefit Programs, those who served in the armed services may qualify for certain Veterans Administration program benefits.

To find out what services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, or Veterans programs, visit or call:
CMS at 1-800-633-4227
SSA at 1-800-772-1213
Veterans Benefits at 1-800-827-1000

National Eye Institute. Supports eye disease and vision research. Develops public and professional education programs to help prevent blindness, reduce visual impairment, and increase awareness of low vision services and devices. Part of the National Institutes of Health.
(301) 496-5248

Prescription Assistance Program Information

BrightFocus maintains lists of prescription assistance programs for patients in treatment for macular degeneration.
Please call 1-800-437-2423 to order a print copy.


Rides in Sight, a program of Independent Transportation Network® (ITN). National nonprofit transportation system for America’s aging population. Rides In Sight provides information about senior transportation options in local communities throughout the United States.

National Aging and Disability Transportation Center. Offers transportation options for older adults to support their ability to live independently in their homes and communities throughout the United States.

Resources and Referrals Information on modifying homes to make them safer for people at risk for falls and other injuries, geared toward individuals, families, service providers, and researchers.
(213) 740-1364

Meals on Wheels Association of America. Provides information on local meal delivery and group meal locations for seniors.

The Seeing Eye. Matches specially bred and trained guide dogs with the legally blind in the U.S. and Canada.
(973) 539-4425

Other Resources

VisionAware. Provides tip sheets on low vision topics, such as kitchen and bathroom safety, ways to make print more legible, and technology and low vision products.

E.A.R.S. for EYES Program. Offers an online national directory of low vision support groups.

Prevent Blindness America. Sponsors community services and public education about eye care, safety, and the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of eye diseases. Local chapters offer community services, including vision screenings and self-help groups for macular degeneration patients.

Disclaimer: The information provided is a public service of BrightFocus Foundation and is not intended to constitute medical advice. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice; all medications and supplements should only be taken under medical supervision. BrightFocus Foundation does not endorse any medical product or therapy.

The organizations listed are not affiliated with BrightFocus Foundation. In addition, BrightFocus Foundation is not responsible for the content of these websites and does not endorse any particular programs offered by these organizations.

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