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How You Can Help Reduce Your Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

As residents of the Reading / Berks County area grow older, we are subject to many afflictions as our bodies begin to wear out. One of the more common diagnoses among seniors is macular degeneration. AMD is one of the leading causes of vision loss among people 50 and older and affects 16 million Americans — more than glaucoma and cataracts combined.


(BPT) - Creating a tapestry of vivid colors and patterns, Geri Wires, an avid quilter, relies on her sight to create her art. So, in 2007, after her dilated eye exam and speaking with her eye doctor, she was alarmed at the diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at age 64. “After my diagnosis, the reality of AMD and its potential effects on my vision became very serious to me,” Wires said. To help manage her condition, Wires began taking Bausch + Lomb PreserVision® AREDS 2 Formula eye vitamins twice daily at her doctor’s suggestion as part of an action plan that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. PreserVision® AREDS 2 formula eye vitamins contain the nutrient formula recommended by National Eye Institute researchers to help reduce the risk of progression in people with moderate to advanced AMD.

AMD is a progressive eye condition caused by degeneration of the part of the retina that impacts central vision. Early-stage AMD often does not present any symptoms or vision changes, as symptoms usually appear gradually over time. In its later stages, AMD can lead to difficulty with daily activities like driving, reading, or recognizing the faces of loved ones.

Today, Wires continues to take her eye vitamins as part of her overall plan to help manage her condition and visits her eye doctor every six weeks for a check-up.

Reducing your risk of AMD

As people age, their risk of eye-related diseases like AMD increases dramatically. Smokers, women, and those with a family history of AMD, are at higher risk of developing AMD.

Over 50? The following lifestyle changes can help protect your eye health.

1. Quit smoking. If you smoke, preserving your vision is a good reason to quit.

2. Stay active. Regular exercise may lower your risk or slow progression of the disease.

3. Safeguard against UV light. Protect your eyes with sunglasses.

4. Boost your diet. Maintain a healthy diet and ask your eye doctor what eye vitamin is appropriate for you.

5. Get regular eye exams. See your eye care provider regularly to help detect minor changes that may otherwise go unnoticed.

To learn more about AMD, visit

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ created Sacred Heart Villa (formerly St. Michael Convent) in 2003 with the vision of providing a personal care home for the Sisters and other seniors of southeastern Pennsylvania. The Sisters renovated St. Michael in order to create 35 personal care residential rooms. Sacred Heart Villa officially opened her doors to her first new residents in May 2004, with space for 57 Sisters and 40 other senior residents.

The facility has two residential buildings, a remodeled dining room, a new fireside lounge, library, café, and beauty shop. The chapel remains in the middle of the facility for it truly is the Heart of the community. Each new residential room provides an individual with privacy, safety, and security in an environment of beauty and grace. Mass is celebrated each day and is open to the public.

Sacred Heart Villa is now accepting residents. If you are seeking care for yourself or a loved one, contact Sacred Heart Villa today at 610-929-5751 for a tour. You can also visit us at

PreserVision is a trademark of Bausch & Lomb Incorporated or its affiliates.

AREDS2 is a registered trademark of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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