Early Onset Macular Degeneration at 40

by Kara
(Arkansas)

In October I went in for my regular eye appointment. I left with an Amsler grid, information about supplements for Macular Degeneration, and an appointment with a retina specialist. At 40 that was not what I was expecting to hear.


When I went to the retina specialist his first words were something like—I doubt you have macular degeneration at your age. After an examination and several tests I’ve been diagnosed with early onset macular degeneration. I’ve been dealing with focus/blurriness since about age 35 but have had no changes in my optical prescription. Since December I’ve been struggling with light sensitivity especially to glare and am about to the point where I can longer drive at night.

In November, I turned 41; I’m an art teacher and a mom to two young children. Macular degeneration wasn’t exactly on my radar. I’m just taking it all in but I could easily throw a pitty party and become anxious of what will become of the future. I’m instead choosing to use the vision I have right now to enjoy each moment, using each day to be proactive to protect the vision I still have, and trusting God to provide what I need for today’s challenges and everyday after.

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Jan 16, 2018
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You have got it right.
by: Bill Kerr

In my opinion (diagnosed 8 years ago, left eye kaput, right eye still fine), you have exactly the right point of view on this.

Jan 16, 2018
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Yikes!
by: Anonymous

It must be difficult having this problem at your age. I sincerely hope your eyes will stabilize. Mine have not needed any injections for almost a year. I take the vitamins, wear my sunglasses and eat lots of fish and green leafy vegetables. But maybe it's just luck. I hope you have good luck.

Meantime, research is being done for both wet and dry versions of Macular Degeneration. If you can afford to buy a large screen computer, that will help you with reading.

An 89 year old friend of mine became legally blind last year but she is returning to water colors. She always liked the impressionists. But 89 is not 40. Use your intelligence to problem-solve as best you can.

Jan 16, 2018
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There Is Hope
by: AnonySuemous

Hello - I write here for my mother who has AMD - early onset at the age of 50. At least this is the age when she went for her eye exam. She has always had the dry version of AMD. She is 91 yrs old now. I need to tell you that up until the age of 85 yrs old, she still drove a car. She ate a diet full of green leafy vegetables and took the eye vitamins recommended by her doctors.

She still has some vision and is still independent in her own home. Her vision stayed good until she was in her late 80’s, and that is only when we noticed a difference. Before that, she still played golf, bridge, read books, and everything else she always enjoyed well into her 80’s. She is not totally blind and still watches TV and goes to the movies.

Don’t think the worst. Be proactive and eat a good diet. Wear good UV sunglasses when outside. You will see a difference in the light glare when the eye vitamins kick in. Read all you can. And don’t despair.

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