43 & Angry

by Amy
(Colorado)

About a month ago I noticed vision changes in my right eye. Wavy lines, distortion, colors appear a little darker, and the size of objects look a little bit smaller.


I made an appointment with the eye doctor. Found out I have wet macular degeneration in the right eye and dry in the left. It's pretty sad when the doctor walks into the room, looks at the scans of my eyes and says, "Oh my God!" & "How old are you?" My stomach automatically felt sick.

What a jerk... Anyway, I've been referred to a retina specialist and my first appointment is this Wednesday. I was told to expect a 2-3 hour appointment. Totally blame it on heredity, thank you Grandpa. Plus I can put a check mark by all the risk factors though I did quit smoking 2.5 years ago. Now I'm just angry, sad, annoyed, anxious, and I can't help but feel sorry for myself. (I'm trying hard to be optimistic.)

I'll give an update after my first specialist appointment.

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Apr 10, 2017
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Mother diagnosed with Early on-set AMD
by: Sue

I believe there is such a condition called early-onset AMD. My mother was 50 yrs old when she was diagnosed. I want to ad one point to this conversation and that is that her first cousin on her father's side has exactly the same diagnosis and at the same age. They are both in their 90's now and get around rather well considering they have had this going on for over 40 yrs! There appears to be a genetic factor involved although my mother's doctor's won't swear to this. But I find it curious. Both have the dry form. Of course I get tested every 2 yrs by my ophthalmologist. I am 65 yrs old. The age AMD usually shows up. We can think of no one else in the family gene pool who had this, but years ago they didn't have such a diagnosis and many of their relatives died at a younger age. Curious heh?

Mar 30, 2017
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I Feel You
by: Anonymous

I just came back from my Dr appointment - third doctor to confirm the bad news. I'm 42. It came as such a shock a few months ago, that I almost thought they were trying to scam me to go to a retina specialist. I went and after a lot of tests, he said I have dry in both eyes, a lot of it but small, so I shouldn't be worried for now, just take my AREDS2.

I can't help but be worried of course. I went to today's DR, who I liked very much, and he looked at me with shock and worry, which almost gave me a panic attack. He said I was the first case he saw with AMD at such an young age. He said they are currently working on stem cell solutions, so I'm praying in the next few years we will have some optoins.This is just so depressing.

Dec 21, 2015
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Aussie
by: Anonymous

I do feel for you 43 & Angry. I am 68 and have wet macular degeneration in one eye and dry MD in the other and it is driving me nuts. After getting up one morning and seeing a big dark spot in my right eye I made an appointment with an eye specialist and heard the grim news.

Gas was put into my eye to dispel the blood clot and then the injections started but very soon afterwards two cataracts developed almost made me blind. I am now back on my monthly injections and I am told I can look forward to a lifetime of these shots. $600 a pop every month, may be stretched out later. I am so depressed I find it hard to cope. I cannot imagine how I would react if I was only 43. Good luck to you.

Oct 18, 2015
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One more thing....
by: Sue

I want to add one more thing to my post from an earlier date. I have done a lot of research on this topic. I am NO doctor, but I feel there is a common denominator in many such cases of AMD - both wet and dry - and that is inflammation. So if I have to add one more piece of advice, it would be to incorporate an anti-inflammatory diet into your everyday life.

This may be looking into whether or not you are gluten intolerant or allergic to dairy etc etc etc. It is worth researching anti-inflammatory diets and staying away from foods that would cause inflammation for your body.

It will take time to go through different food lists that will work for you, but I can say that when my mother found out about her AMD, she cooked everything from scratch, used all the important eye veggies on a daily basis and avoided foods that made her feel achy (which is a sign of inflammation). She kept her eyes in fairly good shape for so many years due to her diligence. You can be pro-active with this disease and you don't have to surrender to being at the mercy of any progression. I hope this helps some.

REPLY
Thanks Sue for your comments. You can read about an anti-inflammatory diet here:

Anti-inflammatory Diet

Oct 11, 2015
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Update
by: Amy

Sue and Oz ;), thanks for your kind words, ideas, recommendations, and encouragement. It truly means a lot!

I've had my first shot of Avastin and it doesn't seem to have helped much. In fact, the distortion has gotten a little worse. The specialist told me that the leak is a small one so hopefully that's good?

He also told me I'm too young to have AMD. Thanks, Captain Obvious, I'm aware of this! However, I believe I dazzled him with all of my knowledge of AMD, haha! I go back for my second Avastin injection on Oct. 21. I'm hoping for some noticeable difference!

Oct 03, 2015
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Welcome to the land of Oz
by: Anonymous

I was pretty ticked off, too, 43 an Angry. I'm old, but I had eaten a healthy diet all my life. Took excellent care of my type 2 diabetes in order to keep my sight. I was going to avoid having retinopathy. Now this.

Do take a driver with you for your next appointment. When my test showed one eye had gone wet, I was unprepared. Drove to the doctor's by myself. The retinal specialist who gave me a shot in my eye assured me I would have no problem driving home. My eye gushed with the stuff the nurse used to wash it out and I could barely see the faded white stripes I knew were on that road. Rush hour traffic all the way home. Prayed I would not run over a med student.

Good luck. Lots of scientists working on this. And there is help for daily living if you read Dan Roberts' books. Another excellent book: Practical Strategies for Living with Vision Loss, 2nd edition by Peggy R. Wolfe.

Oct 03, 2015
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Ways to help yourself
by: Sue

Dear Angry - I can only imagine how you feel now. I don't have MD, but my mother was diagnosed when she was almost 50 yrs old.

She may have had it before then, but she was never checked. She is now 89 yrs old and I have to say that she kept her vision good for almost 39 yrs by eating the right foods and exercising every day. She has dry MD and she is trying to stay that way.

Please do your research on the proper diet to keep the nutrients good in your eyes. She did this for all these years and with all the research scientists have done in this field, the recommendations they make seem to pay off.

My mother does pretty good for her age with this, so don't despair. They are doing heavy research in this field and your generation may do even better than my mother's generation. Don't worry too much about it for now. Live your life and enjoy every day.

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