Bad Case of Dry Macular Degeneration

by Jim
(United States)

I have a friend that is about 75 years old and has A bad case of dry MD. She wants to find a doctor that can help her to see again.


She can;t do anything for herself other than pretty much by the Braille method.

She can't see good enough to count money or read a credit card number.

Is there any Doctor anywhere in the USA that you can suggest to help her? Do you know a Doctor that uses Stem Cell therapy? What do you suggest?

REPLY

Hi Jim,

Thanks for your question and your willingness to help your friend. Your friend my have advanced macular degeneration or geographic atrophy.

To find a retina specialist go to the page on Retina Doctors - How to Find One. Scroll down half way and there will be a link to The American Society of Retina Specialists.

Another idea is to have your friend seek out the help and get training from a low vision rehab specialist. Let me know what city and state she lives in and I can find out what is available in her area.

Thanks for the e-mail.

Kind Regards,

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN



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Sep 03, 2013
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Lack of medications
by: Anonymous

I had a problem of refill my Diabeties 2 medication , for metformin 850mg ,a long with my glipizide 10 mg , could these med. cause my mag degeneration.............Thanks Bob

REPLY

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your comment. The American Macular Degeneration Foundation has published a list of medications to use with caution that may affect one's vision. Go to their list here:

Medications and Macular Degeneration

Kind Regards,

Leslie

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Dry Macular Degeneration - New Diagnosis

by Colleen
(Canada)

I just found out that I have dry macular degeneration.

Can you please help me to understand what this is and how I can live with this?

I'm a little scare of the outcome might be.

REPLY

Hi Colleen,

Thanks for your e-mail. It is understandable that this new diagnosis of dry AMD has scared you. I'm a firm believer that with knowledge there is power.

Dry macular degeneration is the most common type of age related macular degeneration (AMD). The good news is that this type of macular degeneration usually progresses slowly and is responsive to lifestyle and nutritional choices.

It is important that you become educated on steps you can take to improve your diet and lifestyle and get some more understanding about this eye condition.

You can learn more by going to :

Dry Macular Degeneration

Kind Regards,

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN
Better Health for Better Vision

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Non-Exudative Macular Degeneration

by MDiehl
(New Jersey)

I was diagnosed with AMD in both eyes-non exudative, advanced; weiss's ring; posterior vitreous detachments a lot of floaters, which makes it impossible to drive at night; and newly discovered glaucoma (damage to optic nerve in Right eye, open angle).

I am nearsighted; pressure is 20-21 mm hg.

I have severe migraines and I take topamax. I am 60 yr old female. This is all happening very quickly over the last 3 years (with the eyes) and there is no family history that I am aware of.

Other than severe Arthritis of the shoulders, I have no major illnesses. I am up for any suggestions.
Etc.

Reply
My first suggestion is to slow down...and breath.

Now, a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is very common and is a normal event, that is, it happens to everyone at some point.

Weiss' ring is a classic "sign" of a PVD and not indicator of severity, that is, to a non-retina specialist, it is an easy way to diagnose a PVD.

Floaters happen with almost every PVD and are usually a result of the proteinaceous gel (the vitreous) condensing. These are the floaters.

Floaters can be removed by a vitrectomy (retinal surgery) if needed. Not all retinal surgeons like to perform a vitrectomy for just floaters, but the point is, it can be done.

I didn't used to do them very often in Baltimore, but commonly perform them in northern Virginia (i.e. different demographic of patients).

Ok, so far, you are normal.

Open angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma in North America. The incidence increases with age. It is usually very treatable and I suspect the same in you as you have been examined over the past 3 years. I am sure you have had at least a visual field performed? My guess is that it is not too advanced.

Not doing too bad.

Migraines usually don't permanently affect your vision.

Okay - item last. The macular degeneration is probably your biggest threat to your vision, but if you are still able to read, then I bet your are doing okay and your prognosis is excellent. While there is nothing of proven benefit to improve your lost vision due to ARMD, you might want to inquire about your own docs view on supplements or diet.

I have a pretty austere approach in that nothing has yet to be proven, but certain supplements may later be proven to be helpful (e.g. omega 3's).

All the best. Remember "cup is half full.


Randall V. Wong, M.D.

Retina Specialist Fairfax, Virginia

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Advanced Dry Macular Degeneration

by Christine
(United States)

I have just been diagnosed with "advanced" dry macular degeneration by an ophthamlologist.

He states my vision is in the range of 20/40 and 20/50.

He has scheduled two tests for me - the Visual Field exam and the IVSA Optical Photo.

Even though I have insurance, it is still expensive for me to have so many tests.

Will either one of these tests prove to be beneficial as it relates to my MD?

My diet has consisted of many of the lutein and zeaxanthin fruits and vegetables.

However, I have increased the amounts with notification of this diagnosis. I am also taking vitamins for ARMD.

Reply

Dear Christine,

If the diagnosis of dry ARMD is correct, not too sure if the visual field is really needed.

I also would recommend, at some point, an IVFA (intravenous fluorescein angiogram) might be worthwhile, either for baseline or to investigate a change in your vision.

I am not sure of IVSA.

Remember, not too many dietary recommendations for ARMD have actually been proven.

Thanks and keep in touch!

Randall V. Wong, M.D.

Retina Specialist Fairfax, Virginia

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Apr 11, 2010
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Eye Tests and Macular Degeneration Vitamins
by: Anonymous

Christine,

Cataracts usually do not require a visual field. The ICAPS are only indicated for those patients with intermediate and high-risk characteristics. These vitamins are proven to only reduce the risk of severe vision loss. They do not improve the condition.

Hope this is helpful.

Glad you like this site.

Randall V. Wong, M.D.

Retina Specialist Fairfax, Virginia

Apr 10, 2010
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MD Follow Up Question
by: Anonymous

Dear Dr. Wong,

Thank you so much for your guidance. This is very helpful information. I also forgot to mention that I also have the beginnings of cataracts, could that have something to do with the visual field test?

I would also be interested in knowing if the
I Caps are really beneficial? I have been taking four a day as instructed by my clinician.

I am so glad this website has been constructed. It allows me to see what others are experiencing.


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