Interior Design Tips from Nate Berkus to Help People With Changing Vision Preserve Their Independence at Home

Posted: September 24, 2019 | Word Count: 485

A rapidly growing health concern could deprive people of their ability to recognize familiar faces, read a book, or drive a car — translating into the loss of independence.[1],[2]

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness worldwide in people over the age of 65, with the majority of blindness in these cases due to wet AMD — the most severe form of the condition.[3],[4] It is estimated that as many as 1.5 to 1.75 million people in the U.S. will be living with wet AMD next year.[1]

Wet AMD is a chronic and degenerative disease, meaning it gets worse over time.[4] As the disease progresses, people with wet AMD may experience loss of central vision, resulting in an inability to perform basic activities. This can be overwhelming for both the patient and their loved ones.[2],[5],[6]

Celebrity interior designer, Nate Berkus, had a grandmother who suffered from changing vision due to macular degeneration and understands the impact of the disease and the need for lifestyle resources and tools to help live independently with wet AMD.

“Changing vision can be overwhelming — and like my grandmother, people fear losing their independence,” said Berkus. “Even navigating one’s own home — a space that they know and love — can become challenging or even hazardous."

Berkus is offering design tips as part of the Novartis program called ‘My Home in Sight’ to help those impacted by changing vision from wet AMD adapt their home using the program's five key principles. Applying these principles can help people better navigate in and manage their home spaces.

“My job as an interior designer has always been to help people live well in their homes, whether it’s a client, a home makeover on television, or my own grandmother. The ‘My Home in Sight’ program is an invaluable resource as it empowers people to continue to live safely and independently in their homes,” said Berkus.

To view Berkus’ tips and receive a room-by-room guide with tools for people with wet AMD, please visit, a program developed by Novartis, and sign up to receive more information.

[1] American Academy of Ophthalmology. Age-related macular degeneration preferred practice patterns. Accessed March 2019.

[2] Mitchell J, Bradley C. Quality of life in age-related macular degeneration: a review of the literature. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2006; 4:97.

[3] van Lookeren Campagne M, et al. Mechanisms of age-related macular degeneration and therapeutic opportunities. J Pathol. 2014; 232(2):151-64. doi: 10.1002/path.4266.

[4] Gottlieb JL. Age-related macular degeneration. JAMA. 2002; 288 :2233-6.

[5] NHS Choices. Macular Degeneration - Symptoms. Accessed January 2019.

[6] World Health Organization. Priority eye diseases: age-related macular degeneration. Accessed January 2019.

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