I was just diagnosed with Macular Degeneration and I'm freakin out. Anyone have experience with this disease? Are there any treatments that work? I’ve never had a problem with my eyes and this came from out of the blue.
I have macular degeneration (md) in both eyes. The Amsler grid is used to determine if you have md. When I look at the grid with just my right eye all of the lines of the grid seem straight and clear. With my left eye the lines are wavy and distorted. My ophthalmologist diagnosed macular degeneration and sent me to a retina specialist. My mother and both of her siblings had md so I was genetically predisposed to get it. The retina specialist took pictures of my macula, the central part of the retina that provides for sharp, clear vision. The pictures showed I had “dry” md in my right eye, and “wet” in my left. Wet is the worse of the two. Both eyes have “drusens” which are yellow deposits under the retina. These are early signs of md but they alone don’t cause severe vision loss. My center of my left retina has a protuberance that is distorting my vision. Every 6 weeks I have Lucentis injections in the white part of my left eye. Sounds like it would hurt, but it really doesn’t. They numb the eye before the injection. After the injection I use antibiotic drops for 3 days to protect against infection. At each visit he takes more pictures to check for change in my left eye. Unfortunately there’s been no improvement, but it hasn’t gotten worse, so maybe injections have held off progression of the disease. The injections are very costly, so make sure your insurance company agrees to pay before you take them. I also take “AREDS” which is a vitamin complex very rich in eye nutrients. And I take lutein, long considered helpful for eye health. My new glasses include a prism in my left lens that has helped a lot for my distant vision. My reading glasses don’t help much, I actually read better with my left eye closed. There is an important conference for retina specialists in NY next month. I am hoping to learn results of recent clinical trials to determine other treatment options. I read that vitamin B complex and folic acid have been somewhat affective, but the test results were not at all conclusive. I’m taking them just in case they can help. There are so many researchers working on finding a cure, I'm sure it won't be too long. Good luck and keep your spirits up.
It’s important that anyone diagnosed with macular degeneration check their eyes with the Amsler grid daily and report any changes to the eye doctor. You can download a copy at http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/amsler-grid.htm
This site also has the latest news articles on the disease. By the way, smokers are 2.5 times more likely to get macular degeneration – one more reason to kick the habit.
I also have Macular Degeneration. It is the number one cause of visual loss in the US, and as people live longer, experts expect it to become even more prevalent. I read a Times on-line article entitled “Blind to be cured with stem cells” that gave me lots of hope. In London they have been experimenting with laboratory trials on animals, replacing degenerated cells with new ones created from embryonic stem cells. The trials have been successful. While the therapy may not be available for 6 or 7 years, it is encouraging that Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical research company, will produce the artificial membranes on which the embryonic stem cells are placed. Also it appears the treatment may take less than an hour as an outpatient procedure. Read the article at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article6122757.ece
There is a website called visionAWARE.org. It has all the information you'll need and want about macular degeneration. The website is published by a not-for-profit organization and is written by two Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists. It will also give you the advice you need on how to keep doing the things you love with macular degeneration. Check it out.
I work for a company by the name of Sightline Works. We help people through a therapy based on eccentric viewing. As you probably know Macular Degeneration attacks the central vision but leaving intact the peripheral vision. Our therapy helps the person make use of the lateral vision. Even though there is no cure for dry AMD for the wet there are injections as mentioned in one of the replies. We have a website where you can read more about the program it is www.sightlineworks.com. If you would like read over it and give us a call we will be happy to assist you in any questions you might have. We work in the tri-county of South Florida. If interested please call us and mention the information was provided by the Dade county representative. Keep your spirits up!
There is no actual "cure" currently approved by the FDA; however, there are supplements proven to help fight and prevent macular degeneration. www.macularvitamin.com or call us at 888-622-8734. All of our vitamins are designed specifically to fight macular degeneration. They are developed by an ophthalmologist based upon the Age Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS).
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My quetion/comment is about using a CCTV reader. I have wet macular degeneration in both eyes. I'm legally blind in one eye and about 20/50 in the other. I've adjusted well to this, thanks in part to an excellent dr. and support from the nYS commission on blindness.
My employer has made my work environment more comfortable with a large screen for my computer and a CCTV reader. I am a copy editor, so I read all day. The problem is that I find the reader hard to use in terms of working accurately. I find it hard to get "the big picture" (pardon the pun) when I'm looking at only a portion of the page. I realize this is a nitpicky problem, but I wonder if others have had trouble adjusting to a reader and what they did about.
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