In addition to being a leading cause of blindness in the U.S., age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is also a leading cause of low vision, broadly defined as a visual impairment interfering with an individual's ability to perform activities of daily living. Macular degeneration can progress to cause scarring of the retinal tissue that interferes with vision. 'Dry' types usually progress more slowly, but occasionally can cause very poor central vision, but this is more common in the 'wet types.'
There are approximately three million Americans who suffer from visual conditions that are not correctable by standard glasses or contact lenses. People with low vision often cannot perform daily routine activities, such as reading the newspaper, preparing meals, or recognizing faces of friends. Individuals with vision loss are also more likely to suffer from psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depression. However, there are many different avenues to help an individual that is legally blind, including support groups, low cost transportation, and new technology such as contact lenses, reading machines with voice output, video magnifiers (CCTVs), hand-help magnifiers, and computer graphics that change font size.
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