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From The Editor
Interview with Betty White
You can call Betty White by many recognizable names— Sue Ann Nivens,
Rose Nyland, animal activist and now, leading advocate for senior eye health.
Betty has become the spokesperson for “My Eye Health: In the Wink of an Eye,”
a national campaign to educate Americans, in particular older ones, about
age-related macular degeneration, also called AMD, and the importance of
early detection and treatment. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in Americans over age 60.
About 15 million Americans — almost one in four over the age of 50 -- have AMD
which may severely impact the ability to read, watch TV, drive or even recognize
faces of family and friends. Editor-In-Chief Gary Barg sits down for an in-depth
conversation with this legendary actress and dedicated advocate and
Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito, Chairman of The University of Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.
BARG: A very important issue that caregivers are dealing
with is age-related macular degeneration as it is the leading cause
of blindness in people over 60. Can you tell me what it is exactly?
PULIAFITO: Macular degeneration is a major public health
issue for us now with so many seniors that are out there. There are
two forms of macular degeneration – the dry form and the more
serious wet form of AMD. What happens is the central part of your
vision can be affected, the part of vision that you use to read, to
recognize faces, to drive a car. And if you have the symptoms of
blurry vision or wavy vision and you’re a senior, it may not be a
cataract, it may not be glaucoma, it may be new wet AMD. You need to
see your ophthalmologist because we have some great new treatments
for wet AMD that can preserve or even improve your vision. It’s also
very important to have a routine eye examination to know that you
have the early signs of AMD and Betty will tell you about the great
way to screen yourself...continued
Make a New Year’s Resolution
to Schedule an Eye Exam
Early Diagnosis and Treatment Can Lessen Effects of Glaucoma, the “Sneak Thief of Sight”
Many people are making New Year’s resolutions to
improve their health. However, many may not be
aware that an eye exam cannot only help to protect
vision, it can uncover evidence of other diseases
including diabetes or hypertension.
And, for eye diseases such as
glaucoma, the damaging effects may be detected through
an eye exam before a patient notices any symptoms....continued
Everyday Tasks Made Easier
With Accessible Technology
By Patricia Kennedy, RN, CNP
What if vision challenges made it impossible for
you to read a computer screen? Or limited
dexterity left you unable to type? For many
people living with chronic illnesses and
disabilities, these questions are in fact
realities. Symptoms such as vision impairments,
cognitive challenges, and dexterity limitations
can make the use of technology difficult and at
times seemingly impossible...continued
Helpful Tips for the Vision Impaired
By Deborah Kogler
Here are ten simple
tips to make living with low vision more
the amount of lighting directly over the task that you
are doing. Focus the light directly onto what you are
doing. LED lights, natural light and natural daylight
bulbs are recommended.
Do not use fluorescent lights as fluorescent
light causes glare...continued
Sharing Wisdom - Caregiver Tips
Vision Loss Tips
From Lois in Pennsylvania
My mother is declared legally blind because she has
macular degeneration. She is in assisted living now; but she
has had this deteriorating eye condition for much longer
than she's been in assisted living. An invaluable resource
for us has been the Foundation for the Blind:
You'll be surprised how much help they can be.
From Lori C. in Kansas
Check with your
state Agency on Aging to see if there are any programs
around that help people adjust to vision loss. In Kansas, we
have a KanSail program through Social Rehab Services that
helps people over 55. A person can still do a lot, even with
less to no vision. It's not the end of their independence.
While there are treatments that can slow down the loss, it
usually still happens. Getting help adjusting to lower
vision is always a good idea.
From Linda M. in Wisconsin
If you have an Aging
& Disability Resource Center in your county, they can
provide you with resources in your area and beyond. There
are also Web sites. There are many adaptive devices to
assist, and ideas as simple as putting a rubber band around
you shampoo to tell the difference from the conditioner.
Also ask about support groups for the visually impaired.
Doing things now to prepare for future loss is important to
The best ideas and solutions for taking care of your
loved one often come from other caregivers. Please post your ideas
and insights and we will share them with your fellow caregivers.
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