My Mother's Life with Wet Macular Degeneration and How I Am Preparing
by Sharon Houston
(Pink Hill, NC, USA)
My mother was 72 when she first experienced the horror of age related macular degeneration (AMD).
At that time, about 15, years ago, treatments involved heavy use of laser. She was left with very little peripheral vision in both eyes, although one was a little better than the other.
We obtained everything that we could learn from the professionals and from research that would help her. We equipped her living space in any way that would help, bought low vision equipment, including an optical enlarger for reading, kitchen and general living accessories that would help, books on tape, visited a low vision expert, etc.
She also took more vitamins especially formulated for vision. It was a terrible experience watching my mother, who had always helped so many people, struggle to maintain her existence with disabling AMD. She was an amazing person and did not give up.
Now, since both my parents had AMD (my father had the dry kind), I at the age of 65 am, and have been, doing everything I can to help prevent this disease.
I take several "eye" vitamins recommended by my doctor, try to eat nutritious foods including lots of greens, have frequent checkups, stay current on information about AMD, use the Amsler grid frequently, etc.
I look forward to the day when a cure will be found for this disease that affects so many, and I am so thankful for the continuing research that will bring about this cure.
Click here to post comments
Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Macular Degeneration Prognosis.
My Mother's Experience with Wet Macular Degeneration
by Catherine Tota
My Mother was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration about 10 years ago, at age 84.
She first received laser treatments to stop the bleeding. After several years we moved and went to a new Retina Center. The bleeding started again and she has been receiving injections in her eye. The bleeding has almost stopped but now we're told the retina is thinning out.
She has taken special vitamins, used all sorts of low vision gadgets but she is now 90% without sight, which is cloudy and distorted.
We are now trying to decide whether to continue with the injections, as she hates getting them, especially since she sees no improvement. Aside from all her other problems this is the worst thing that could have happened to her.
My Mother and Wet Macular Degeneration
My mother had wet macular degeneration (AMD) in one eye but suddenly could not see out of her second eye - this happened the day before my father died.
Her good eye now has wet AMD. She lost my father and her ability to drive in 48 hours. With treatment, her eyesight has improved in the second eye. She is adjusting amazingly well. With some aids, she still reads, plays bridge, goes on walks, and has a full and fulfilling life.
I want to add that your website has been very helpful to my sister and myself (Mom is not a computer person). We receive the newsletter and point each other to important articles. Thank you for the thoughtful, helpful, informative, and positive information that you provide.
Thanks, Amy, for your post. It is important for other readers to “hear” that your mother “has a full
and fulfilling life” despite some very severe and sudden losses. They key word is “adjusting.”
Besides the driving, she is doing things she enjoys, such as reading, playing bridge and going for walks - with aids. If you have time share with us one, two or three of her favorite macular degeneration aids and how they have helped her.
Here’s a list of macular degeneration visual aids:
Visual Aids for Macular Degeneration
Leslie Degner, RN, BSN
Better Health for Better Vision
My Mother and Macular Degeneration
by Jodi O'Shea-Walker
(Denton, TX )
Happy birthday to my mom...she turned eighty-three yesterday. I thank God she is still so healthy, energetic, even feisty.
She lives alone with her beloved rescue dogs...for now. However, seven years ago she was diagnosed with dry macular degeneration and her sight continues to deteriorate. Mom loves to fuss in her gardens, but only on bright sunny days now, because she can't see the errant hose or freshly dug hole and if she were to fall...
My mother was never one to feel sorry for herself, to discuss health issues, and never to whine. So, she deals with this deplorable disease--we closely follow any reseach, check out any new visual aids, and pray.
My Mom - Just Diagnosed with Macular Degeneration
(San Antonio, TX)
My Mom was just diagnosed with AMD in both eyes. It is dry. She is taking it quite well but she's the kind of person who prefers to not think about medical worries unless she has to.
I am more of a worrier and I also have to be able to make some life decisions because I will most likely be her primary care giver if she needs one. I don't want to leave the state for a new job only to find that she needs me at home.
No one will give us any sort of timeline. The doctor even said she may never lose her sight. So it's a very hard position to be in. I really want to have some sense of a timeline. So, I'm on here trying to see what has happened to others. How long before she won't be able to drive? That's probably the biggest question. Will she need a full time care giver?
Thanks for sharing your concerns as a possible future caregiver. Unfortunately, at this time the ability to predict the progression of this retinal condition isn't possible. As you can see from reading stories shared by other patients - progression is as varied as individuals.
Macular Degeneration Stories
You may find this interview by a caregiver of someone with macular degeneration helpful as well:
Help for Caregivers
Leslie Degner, RN, BSN
My Mother's Journey with Dry AMD
Hello to Everyone.
This is an excellent site with great information that explains things well. My mother is 87 yrs. old and was diagnosed with the dry form of MD at the age of 50.
She and my father lived a charmed life of golf, bridge, shows, cruises, and vacations that anyone would envy. For all these years, MD has kept a very low profile, with only a slight hint of its presence in my mother's eyes.
She drove all over, and went anywhere she wanted - when she wanted. She cooked a steady diet of vegetables, meat, fish, fruit and good homemade desserts. Both she and my father thrived on her cooking for their retirement years, and my father lived to the ripe old age of 95.
At the age of 86, my mother was out driving one day and she couldn't see the lines on the road anymore. She wasn't too far from home, and she was scared enough to turn around and go home. She gave up her keys that day.
No resistance and thank goodness enough sense to know when her vision had changed for the worse. She lived with MD for 36 yrs. with little or no trouble. Then out of the blue one day, it came out into the open.
The doctors diagnosed her with Geographic Atrophy - the last stage of MD (dry form). She moved down here with us after my dad passed last year. She has trouble reading most things and uses some hand-held devices to help her out, but it's still a struggle.
She bought a computer made especially for people with low-vision, but I don't think she uses it. It has a great magnifier on it that drops down, but she can't read the words. She doesn't say too much about it. Once a week, I stop in to read and answer her e-mails.
I take her shopping and I have to pick out most of the food for her as she can't read which is the broccoli and which is the spinach for example. (The frozen kind anyway.) She can out-walk anyone because she doesn't have arthritis, but she has to walk very deliberately because she can't see the pavement ahead of her due to poor depth perception.
We have trained with specialists from a Low-Vision Non-Profit Group and they taught her how to use a cane when she walks in the road around our development, but she doesn't ever use it. She is too proud and doesn't want the neighbors to know she can't see well. She never takes it with us when we go shopping.
She gets around her house well and still cooks for herself - always the best vegetables that help with MD. The nice weather is here in the NE now, but she hasn't walked around outside in the development yet. She has a treadmill, and she uses that to keep in shape. I wonder if her vision has gotten a little worse than last year, and she worries about falling.
She doesn't offer much, but I have to read between the lines. She is hoping that they come out with a cure for MD while she can still take advantage of gaining some sight back. She's healthy other than this major problem. She's coping, but is anxious and is always looking for the next snake oil salesman to claim they have found a cure for MD.
She wants to go see a doctor in a neighboring state who is making claims. I had to tell her that no one has found a cure yet, and if this doctor is curing people, then why have we not seen it on every news station there is? She paused and had to agree with me. I had to tell her to stop buying so many supplements, because she could be doing more harm than good. We see her retina specialist in June. I asked her to make a list of questions she has for him.
We will find out what he recommends for this stage of MD. She had MD for 36 yrs. and hardly noticed it. It's only this last year that her vision has taken a turn. I know if she could sit down and write anything about her life with MD, she would explain the hardship she endures because she can't do the things she used to do. And her first question would be - Is there a cure for this yet??
√ Prevention of Macular Degeneration?
√ Tips for Daily Living?
√ Food Suggestions for a Macular Degeneration Diet?
√ Ideas on Visual Aids to Maximize your Sight?
If you said "yes" to any of the above, sign up for the monthly Macular Degeneration News.