interior February is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month banner image

February is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month

As part of February’s Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month, Prevent Blindness Illinois and ISPB are offering free resources to the public to help educate and empower individuals and their care partners, to make informed decisions about their vision and eye health.

AMD is an eye disease that is a leading cause of vision loss for Americans ages 50 and older. It affects central vision, where sharpest vision occurs, causing difficulty conducting daily tasks such as driving, reading, and recognizing faces. According to a new study leveraging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vision and Eye Health Surveillance System, “The Prevalence of Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the United States In 2019,” more than 19 million Americans ages 40 and older were estimated to be living with AMD in 2019. Prevalence of AMD increases with age. Among persons ages 80 and older, approximately 3 in 10 have early AMD, and approximately 1 in 10 have the vision-threatening late form.

The Prevent Blindness IL and ISPB “AMD Learning Center” at PreventBlindness.org/AMD, and the free GuideMe app, are designed for those who have been recently diagnosed with AMD. GuideMe works by asking a few questions about the user and the user’s AMD diagnosis. It then creates a customized guide with helpful information, tips, resources and suggested steps to take to be proactive about protecting vision. AMD fact sheets and shareable graphics in English and Spanish are also available for free download. 

Geographic Atrophy (GA) is the advanced form of dry AMD. We offer resources in English and Spanish, including a downloadable fact sheet, a series of shareable social media graphics and a dedicated webpage. Prevent Blindness developed the content of these resources with funding provided by Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Please also visit our recently redesigned resource, “Living Well With Low Vision.” The program provides accessible guides, such as the “Self-Help Guide to Non-Visual Skills” and “The ABC’s of Caring for the Visually Impaired” handbook. Additionally, the site has patient and care partner resource directories, and a new feature dedicated to vision loss and mental wellness. Visitors can also find information on the latest vision research, disease-specific news and clinical trials. This resource is supported by grants from Genentech and Horizon Therapeutics.

January 2023 Newsletter from ISPB & PBIL

Call for Nominations! “Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health,” and the 4th annual “Rising Visionary Award” Prevent Blindness is announcing the call for nominations for...

February is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month

As part of February’s Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month, Prevent Blindness Illinois and ISPB are offering free resources to the public to help educate and...

My Retina Tracker Genetic Testing Program

Do you have a clinical diagnosis of inherited retinal degeneration (IRD) and live in the United States and/or the US territories? The Foundation Fighting Blindness, in partnership with Blueprint...

New Resources for Reducing Eye Strain from Screens

In response to increased virtual and screen-based activities during the coronavirus pandemic, ISPB and Prevent Blindness Illinois have launched a new awareness campaign,, Take a Screen Time Out. All...