Free Educational Resources Available for Macular Degeneration Awareness Month
(Feb. 1, 2023) Clarksburg, MD—In recognition of Macular Degeneration Awareness Month this February, BrightFocus Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to ending diseases of mind and sight, is offering a variety of free educational resources to help individuals with macular degeneration and their loved ones navigate the disease.
Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss in people over 60 and can lead to blindness in advanced stages. Half of those impacted by macular degeneration may not even know it because it usually has no noticeable symptoms in its early stages.
The two types of macular degeneration are dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration—the most common type—may advance and cause vision loss with or without turning into the more advanced wet type, which involves the growth of leaky blood vessels in the retina and can be treated with injections.
Some people with macular degeneration will develop geographic atrophy, an advanced and severe form of dry age-related macular degeneration that causes around 20% of legal blindness in North America. While there is still no approved treatment for geographic atrophy, one treatment shown to slow the rate of disease expansion is under FDA Priority Review, with a decision expected later this month.
Currently, there is no cure for macular degeneration; however, through early diagnosis and treatment, the disease can be controlled before vision loss or blindness occurs.
“Early detection of macular degeneration through a comprehensive, dilated eye exam is key to protecting your vision,” said Preeti Subramanian, PhD, Director of Scientific Programs, Vision Science, at BrightFocus. “Since heredity and genetics can be risk factors for age-related macular degeneration, it is very important to let your eye doctor know if you have a family history.”
A dedicated resources webpage shares information in English and Spanish about early signs and symptoms, treatments, and clinical trials as well as new expert articles that answer frequently asked questions about macular degeneration.
Throughout the month, BrightFocus will be sharing facts about macular degeneration, resources, and stories from individuals living with the disease. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay connected.
BrightFocus also offers a free audio discussion series about macular degeneration with vision experts and other guests, called BrightFocus Chats. The next episode on Feb. 22 will feature guest speakers Maureen Foley and Sheila Klein, both living with macular degeneration, who will share their firsthand accounts of daily living with low vision. Since its launch in 2012, the BrightFocus Chats program has connected thousands of individuals with the expert vision information they need.
A leading provider of free English and Spanish resources for individuals and health care professionals, BrightFocus reaches millions of people every year through its public awareness efforts about Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.
Macular Degeneration Research (MDR), a BrightFocus Foundation program, funds innovative research worldwide to cure macular degeneration. MDR has awarded nearly $46 million in funding across 320 cutting-edge research projects on the causes and potential prevention and treatment of this sight-stealing disease.
About BrightFocus Foundation
BrightFocus Foundation is a premier nonprofit funder of research to defeat Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Through its flagship research programs—Alzheimer’s Disease Research, National Glaucoma Research, and Macular Degeneration Research—the Foundation is currently supporting a $75 million portfolio of 287 scientific projects. BrightFocus has awarded nearly $275 million in groundbreaking medical research funding since inception and shares the latest research findings, expert information, and English/Spanish disease resources to empower the millions impacted by these devastating diseases. Join our community at brightfocus.org.