Much like her character on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Dr. Marlena Evans, actress Deidre Hall wants to help people. And with February being Low Vision Awareness Month, Hall is taking the time to speak out about age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, a serious version of which ultimately took the sight of her mother, Jean. “We knew what she had,” she admitted to Soaps In Depth. “We just knew there weren’t really a lot of viable treatments for it at the time. So it was managing the symptoms more than anything else.
“My mother was an avid reader,” Hall continued. “She loved, loved, loved to read. She loved to knit. And she loved to play bridge. And we remedied part of that by getting her books on tape so she could still enjoy her novels. She couldn’t see the cards, so we got her oversized playing cards. Just things like that that helped her get through it.”
AMD is one of the leading causes of vision loss in people over 50 years old and the leading cause in people over 65. 10% of patients with AMD develop the more serious form of the disease, known as Wet AMD, which is what Hall’s mother suffered from. And a person’s risk of developing AMD is three to four times higher if they have a family member with AMD. “My entire family has been concerned about our vision,” Hall declared. “And we are fierce about getting regular doctor’s care and having regular checkups and just staying on top of it. But we’ve all been just fine, thanks!”
Hall urged fans to visit LookToYourFuture.com for even more details about Wet AMD and other vision issues. “The website has all the information you want to have on there,” she explained. “And I find it to be quite a comfort that people should know where it is.”
It’s important to keep an eye on your sight as early diagnosis can be key to avoiding serious complications and blindness from conditions like AMD. “So if you’ve got blurriness in the center of your eye, if you see wavy lines, if you have blind spots, if colors look somehow a little bit washed out, those are not normal signs of aging,” she insisted. “That isn’t ‘She needs glasses,’ that is ‘she needs a doctor’s help immediately.’
“If you have any symptoms, get in immediately because we do have treatments now that we never had before,” Hall concluded. “So there’s really no excuse. In my mother’s day, not so much. But now there’s so much more available and eyesight is such a precious thing. You don’t want to mess it up.”
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