Macular Degeneration Makes Me Depressed

by Richard
(Palm Beach, Florida)

I was diagnosed with macular degeneration about two years ago, was given the chart to keep track of the progress, and to take PreserVision, one tablet twice daily. I purchased the ARED’s and took one each morning and one each evening, although the instructions on the vitamins were to take two each morning and evening. I took the vitamins somewhat erratically for a year, not sure about they would actually do any good, sometimes two a day sometimes four.

A year or so later, I discovered there were ARED 2 vitamins that only needed to be taken one pill twice a day. Now I take Ared 2 vitamins as prescribed.

This all began when I was 78, and I’m now 81, and my vision has been slowly but steadily becoming worse. I have given up reading most newspapers and books because it’s a struggle with the print. I also notice wavy lines in tile floor, door and window frames, etc, which is very distracting.

Reading street signs, seeing traffic signals, and also the speedometer have become increasingly more difficult. I asked the DO how serious my condition was and how fast it would progress. He told me on a scale of one - four, mine would be rated about a one plus, but I think it’s probably two by now at least. I can still watch television and work on the computer without too much difficulty. I avoid driving at night as much as possible. The macular degeneration so far has been of the dry kind, Wavy lines seem to be getting worse every day.
Neither of my parents were ever diagnosed with macular degeneration, and my mother died at the age of 94 with relatively good vision wearing glasses.
As a retired professor, I find my vision becoming weaker very disturbing, very depressing. When people ask me what book I have been reading lately, it is embarrassing to admit that I can’t read that well anymore. When I tell them I can’t, I think I am frequently not believed and am using my vision as an excuse.

My wife takes the New York Times, but I find that news print way too small for me to read. I think I could easily become very depressed at some point if my vision becomes very serious. At 81, I feel I have lived a full life, and don’t want to settle for partial living for the rest of my life. I do have high blood pressure, but take medicine for it.
I feel overwhelmed by what’s happening. I admire very much the people who have lost their vision and are adapting to it in a positive way.

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