Do I really have Macular Degeneration?

by Susan
(SW, MO)

I went to the optometrist a few days ago. I could tell the exam wasn't going as usual.


The left eye was blurry and wasn't being corrected with changing the lenses. The doctor unceremoniously said, "you have Macular Degeneration of the Retina".

I thought I was just getting new glasses. I didn't even know what that meant. He said, "I think it is the dry form". He mentioned that it can turn into the wet form and that it may progress over time.

What does that mean? I can't even formulate a question.

You may wonder why I wonder if I really do have it - and I may. I had Botox for migraines a couple of weeks before. My eyelids are droopier then usual - not even showing my eyelashes. My left eye became really dry and it felt like a film was on it.

Blurry vision, double vision and droopy eyelids are sometimes side effects of Botox. I also had a migraine which I had told him sometimes effects my eyes. He thought it would effect both eyes.

My question is: Does blurry vision from Botox correct with lenses? Why when I look at the Amsler chart does it appear that the lines are doubled and tripled. The eye overall appears blurry not just the center vision.

It is a three day weekend so tomorrow I will call an Ophthalmologist to see if I can get a second opinion. I will also call my rehab doctor (I have been getting Botox in my leg for five years but this was the first time I had 32 shots for my daily migraines) and see if she can give me any insight into "double or blurry vision after Botox".

I may very well have AMD. What I do know is that sometimes it is not only the bad news but how that news is delivered. I will not go back to that doctor who didn't even provide me with a brochure. Just sent me home after dilating my eyes and breaking my heart.

Note: Typing the word you see is rather ironic.

REPLY

Hi Susan,

I am glad to hear that you are seeing an ophthalmologist. To learn more about diagnostic testing for macular degeneration go to:

Macular Degeneration Test

Keep us posted.

Kind Regards,

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

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Jul 10, 2011
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See a Retina Specialist, Become Informed
by: Anonymous

Yeah go make an appointment with a retina specialist.

I'm a little surprised your eye doctor didn't insist on it. Macular degeneration is pretty easy to diagnose with the eyes dilated. Unfortunately there's no cure but vitamin supplements may slow down further deterioration.

The big thing is you don't want it to become the wet type, immediate intervention would then be required. Not trying to scare you. You really need to see a retina specialist who can make a much more informed diagnosis and tell you the type you have and answer all your questions. What you don't want to do is just ignore your current diagnosis.

Go see the specialist.

Jul 05, 2011
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Get Checked!
by: Barry

I'm only a layperson, but my recommendation, having lots of experience with AMD, would be to go to a retinologist, not an ophthalmologist.

A retinologist will have the testing equipment and greater expertise to diagnose you correctly. If they didn't perform an OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography), then I wouldn't trust their diagnosis. Personally, I had 3 different exams done, all by retinologists.

In the mean time, take another look at an Amsler grid on your own. Look at the AMD symptoms so that you're aware of what to look for in your own vision.

It's also VERY important to know which form of the disease that you may have. Be proactive. Be persistent with your doctor and go in armed with the proper questions.

What did your ophthalmologist tell you that you had? How old are you? Are the lines on the grid wavy at all? Has the double vision subsided any? Those of us around fifty years old are at a greater risk. It's nothing to trifle with. You shouldn't delay seeing someone ASAP.

One other suggestion I have would be that, if you have the disease, you should inquire into enrolling in a study program. If you live in a major city, this should be easier. I live in Phoenix and am in a study program for the wet form. They pay for the approved treatment, pay a small fee for my trouble, and the experimental drug that I'm getting has helped over and above the approved treatment. Find me on Facebook as Barry Fivecoat and I'll help you if I can. As you can see, I have a lot of involuntary experience with this affliction.

Best Regards,
Barry Fivecoat
Phoenix, AZ

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