2024 AMD Awareness Month Resources

Blue and white graphic banner with the AMD Awareness Pin design on the left, and the AMDF logo on the lower right. Text reads: #AMDAwarenessMonth2024, February is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month

The State of Age-Related Macular Degeneration in 2024

Prevalence in the United States

  • Nearly 20 million Americans aged 40+ have been diagnosed with some form of macular degeneration.
  • 1.49 million Americans are living with a late-stage vision-threatening form of age-related macular degeneration. This is about 22% of the total 7 million Americans living with vision loss or blindness.

Learn More About Macular Degeneration

Click here to learn more about age-related macular degeneration.

Join the Action and Stay Informed Through February

  • Week 1 – AMD Early Detection, Risk Reduction, and Intervention
  • Week 2 – AMD Vision Loss Impact on Daily Life
  • Week 3 – AMD Underserved Communities
  • Week 4 – Access in Sight! AMD Advocacy and Action Week

Bookmark this page and check back in each week. You can also follow us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and join our free email list below (scroll to the bottom of the page) to get updates.


There is no cure for age-related macular degeneration, but early detection, along with lifestyle changes and treatments, can help preserve vision for as long as possible for those at risk of developing AMD.

Time is Vision

Early detection for the onset of all types of age-related macular degeneration is key to preserving vision for as long as possible. For Dry AMD, an early diagnosis means opportunities to reduce risk, delay onset, or slow progression of vision loss through lifestyle changes and supplements.

For wet AMD onset, time is even more critical. Research indicates that the earlier you start receiving anti-VEGF treatments the better your outcome is likely to be (one recent study suggests within the first 48 hours of onset1). In fact, an AMDF-supported study is showing that time-to-treatment may be the most important factor in preserving your vision. 

Laura Carabello knew she was at risk of developing macular degeneration, and when she had a sudden change to her vision, she knew she needed treatment right away. She credits awareness, monitoring, immediate intervention, and treatment adherence with preserving her vision for longer. Watch this short video to learn more about Laura’s story.

Controllable Risk Factors for Age-related Macular Degeneration

The causes of AMD are complex, but several risk factors are controllable through lifestyle changes.

  • Smoking – Smoking doubles the risk of AMD, and recent studies have found that living in an air-polluted environment also increases risk
  • Diet – a poor diet, high in saturated fats and cholesterol and low in antioxidants, can increase risk for AMD and accelerate its progression
  • Unchecked cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure
  • Weight – being overweight overall, but particularly around the abdomen
  • Sun exposure without eye protection

Non-controllable Risk Factors for Age-related Macular Degeneration

Some risk factors of AMD are not under anyone’s control. 

  • Age – the risk of developing AMD begins increasing by age 40, and exponentially increases after the age of 75.
  • Genetics – a family history of macular degeneration.
  • Light colored irises.
  • Far-sightedness
  • Being female – understood to be because women usually live longer than men.

Reducing Risk and Early Intervention for AMD

The two actions you can take if you are at risk for age-related macular degeneration are to change any lifestyle factors that put you more at risk, and to monitor your vision through regular eye exams and at home so you can detect any vision-emergency changes.

The standard to monitor your vision at home is the Amsler Grid. Click here for a free, downloadable Amsler Grid with instructions.

AMDF also offers copies of the KeepSight Journal, which studies have shown is a highly effective way to help you keep track of your vision and any changes.

For free recipes to inspire you to eat healthier for your eyes and macular degeneration, see our library of free AMD Diet recipes.


Vision loss can be gradual, or sudden, but either way, there is no question that vision loss can have a profound impact on daily living for those affected. The impacts are wide-ranging, from emotional impact to effects on independence and quality of life.

In 2023, AMDF released the award-winning documentary, Losing Sight, Finding Hope: Living with Macular Degeneration to offer information, and hope, to people at all stages of macular degeneration. So far, the film has reached nearly 50,000 viewers.

Impact of vision loss on daily life can include all the obvious things, like not being able to drive, but it’s the accumulation of minor and major things that can rob a person of a sense of well-being and independence. Things like:

  • Difficulty with practical reading, such as signs, food labels, receipts, menus, etc.
  • Difficulty with hobbies that require close detail
  • Difficulty navigating new environments
  • Difficulty recognizing faces, even of their own family and friends
  • Increased isolation
  • Increased risk of falls and injuries due to balance issues or not being able to detect walking hazards
  • Lack of access to transportation
  • Economic burden of treatments
  • and so much more


While AMD is most prevalent in caucasians, other races/ethnicities are still at risk!

Income and education can also affect access to treatment and visual acuity outcomes!


February is age-related macular degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month #AMDAwarenessMonth2024 graphic with the AMD Awareness Pin.