(2015) – Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization, has launched a new resource, “GuideMe,” designed for those who have been diagnosed with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
AMD affects more than 2 million Americans ages 50 and older. And, according to the recent Prevent Blindness “Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems” report, that number is expected to jump to 3.4 million in 2032 and 4.4 million in 2050. The effects of the disease may include central vision becoming blurry or wavy, or may cause a blind spot in the center of vision. Although there are some treatments that may slow the progression, there is currently no cure for AMD.
The intent of GuideMe is to simulate as accurately as possible a post-diagnosis consultation with a doctor or therapist. It is not, however, designed as a substitute for the advice and directions of an eye doctor. Users should make no assumptions about, or changes in, their diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment without the awareness of their treating physician.
GuideMe works by asking a few questions about the user and the user’s AMD diagnosis. It then uses the answers to create a customized guide with helpful information, tips, resources and suggested steps to take to be proactive about protecting vision. The guide is compatible with a smart phone, tablet, laptop or PC. The customized Guide can be viewed online or downloaded and printed. If there are diagnosis changes and updates, users can return at any time and change their answers to create a new customized Guide.
GuideMe was designed and developed by patient advocate and low vision educator Dan Roberts, M.M.E. Roberts created and maintains the new Prevent Blindness online resource: “Living Well with Low Vision,” http://lowvision.preventblindness.org.
“Your customized GuideMe resource provides important information you need, insight into challenges you may be facing, and steps you can take to protect your quality of life and independence,” said Roberts.
Additional resources may also be found at the Prevent Blindness “AMD Learning Center,” found at preventblindness.org/amd. The site provides a variety of educational tools including AMD risk factors, treatment options, an Adult Vision Risk Assessment tool and downloadable fact sheets.
“We know that anyone who has been diagnosed with AMD will have lots of questions on how the disease may impact their daily lives,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We hope that patients and their caregivers will find GuideMe to be a helpful tool in navigating the new challenges that they may face.”
To download GuideMe, go to guideme.preventblindness.org. For more information on AMD, Living Well with Low Vision, or other general eye health information, please call Prevent Blindness at (800) 331-2020 or visit preventblindness.org.