New Diagnosis of Wet Macular Degeneration at 49

by Steve
(Indiana)

My 50th birthday is next month. Last week I was diagnosed with dry AMD in my left eye and wet macular degeneration in my right.


I sought the eye doctor because I noticed curvy lines when I looked out of my right eye. I realize now that my difficulty seeing at night and that in the evening I see better with two reading glasses than one were symptoms. I didn't know before.

My optometrist told me that she had seen something on my retina two years ago but she never told me to see a retina specialist!

I had an Avastin injection in my right eye last week. My vision is still blurry in the center of my right eye, but I can still read with good light.

I'm scared.

And so my journey begins.

REPLY

Hi Steve,

Thanks for writing and sharing your story with us. The unknown is indeed scary and how your macular degeneration progresses will be unique to you. Everyone is different.

Many readers have shared how learning and reading about macular degeneration as well as learning about different vision aids has helped with their anxiety and feelings of optimism about the future.

A couple of books that I recommend are:

1. Written by an Ophthalmologist, Dr. Mogk, whose father had macular degeneration.

Macular Degeneration: The Complete Guide to Saving and Maximizing Your Sight


2. Written by a patient with macular degeneration, Dan Roberts.

The First Year: Age-Related Macular Degeneration: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed

Please feel free to share your concerns or questions and we will do our best to help you.

Kind Regards,

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN





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Dec 31, 2011
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My Macular Degeneration Story Continues
by: Steve

I'm about 1 1/2 months post diagnosis now. I've had two shots in my right eye (Avastin).

The second shot was easier than the first, though I don't expect they'll ever be easy.

I've learned a lot and decided to be aggressive in getting my cholesterol down, and taking macular degeneration vitamins and fish oil.

I'm using the ICaps vitamins, and 3000 mg a day of. Omega 3's. After three months of this regimen I will have my cholesterol retested and go from there.

My second visit to the eye doctor was pretty good. The fluid in my eye was reduced, though I have no change in my vision that I can see.

The doctor is going to do three shots then reevaluate. The is a study published by the new England Journal of Medicine that shows the shots having a positive impact for the first 12 months. Monthly seems better than at the doctors discretion. None of the study participants are my age, and the long term effects of the shots aren't really known so I don't want to overdo the shots.

I'm still scared, but feeling a little better knowing I'm getting the right treatment. I dread the next shot though.

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My Experience with Wet AMD

In 2002 I was diagnoised with wet AMD in my right eye. I was encouraged to laser my right eye. I was told I also had dry AMD in the left eye. The laser did not work and left me totaly without central vision in my right eye.

I had 20/25 vision in my left eye so this was an adjustment but not impossible. I did fine until 2007. I began to notice things were not straight and people were hard to see from a distance.

I again went to a new specialist. I had developed wet AMD in the left eye. He suggested the injections which were new at the time.

I began in February of 2008 to get injections. I had sucess at first and in 6 months I was completely dry.

Then he tried to go 3 months and it began to bleed again. I went to one a month and changed from Lucentis to Avastin.

I had some success as far as vision but continue to bleed at about the 5 week point. I am now going to be on a 5 week interval. I have had only normal pain and irritation after the injections.

I still vary in my ability to read but things are straight and I can read large print books use the computer - but worry about driving as I had an accident involing only myself but I turned too sharp and scraped the car.

I don't know if it would have happened anyway or if I just had the accident because of the eye problem.

I have a day time only driver's license since last year.

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A Twin with Wet Macular Degeneration

by Joyce
(Florida)


I am 72 years old and have wet macular in both eyes. My twin sister had the wet in one eye first over 2 years ago and so far her other eye is ok.

I had a sudden bleed in right eye a year ago and am receiving shots as my sister is. A year ago I saw the wavy symptons in the left eye and immediately went to doctor and received a shot of Avastin as that was the successful shot for the other eye after trying another shot.

Now I receive the shots a week apart in both eyes every 7 or 8 weeks. I went from 20/600 to 20/30 after receiving the first shot in right eye. So far they seem to be keeping it at bay.

I am an artist selling on Ebay and am able to continue with my work. It seems to effect my reading and driving but not so much the drawing and painting. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

I personally know people who have been helped by these shots. I don't know about diet but I do take the AREDS, not too faithfully but I try to remember. I feel genes are the primary cause for what its worth. I also experienced the bleeds after plane flights although they say it's not a cause but the victims say different.

My sister also had been on a plane just before her first symptoms.

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My Short Journey with Wet AMD

by Marilyn
(Sacramento, CA)

I was 59 in July of '09. I was working on my computer and shut it down for the night. Everything was fine.

I went to bed and when I looked at the TV (my right eye was buried in my pillow) I noticed that the person on the screen (a closeup) had no face! There was a big dark purple "thumb print" where his face should be.

I didn't have a clue what this was all about. Then everyone I looked at in person had this "thumb print".

In September, I went to my optometrist. He told me that he saw a bleed in my left eye and that it may absorb in time but I should see an ophthalmologist immediately.

Being uninsured, I couldn't do that, but ended up at an emergency room a couple of weeks later.

The doctor there told me that I have wet AMD and, yep, I should see an ophthalmologist immediately. So, I just lived with it.

I still had one good eye. A few months later, the blood did absorb, but the sight in my left eye is pretty much useless.

In August of '10 I was sitting at my computer and I thought "I need a stronger contact lens" (I only wore one). By the middle of October I finally had to admit that it wasn't safe for me or anyone else for me to drive anymore. I could no longer see dark vehicles, nor could I see traffic signals until I reached the intersections. That is the single worse part for me. Not being able to drive.

In November, I managed to see an ophthalmologist who confirmed the diagnosis and sent me to a retinologist to confirm his diagnosis.

She did, tell me about treatments that could slow the progression down, but without insurance there is nothing she can do...so now I manage by using two pairs of over-the-counter glasses (at the same time) and a 10x magnifying glass to read.

There was a big change between November and December, but I have been taking dietary supplements meant for eye health and there has been no progression since. Of course, it could be coincidence. :-)

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My Left Eye Has A Cloud In It

Ten years ago an eye doctor spotted the drusen in both eyes and predicted AMD in two or three years.

When in the left eye I saw some lines being curved I went to the Univ Eye clinic in Germany. They took note of it and declined treatment, since there was already scar tissue.

Six months ago the left eye went bananas and now just about everything that should be straight is curvy and there is a shadow in the middle. With both eyes I can function pretty well.

The university doctors said it was not AMD, but then I visited Johns Hopkins who said it was wet AMD and did one injection of Avastin. I'm seeking the same treatment here in Germany and hope it will work.

I've taken Eye Caps for ten years, tried to eat leafy greens. Probably too many carbs.

This sight doesn't appear to discuss the injections. I'm told that there is a 95% chance to preserve my sight. I've heard stories where they don't work.

Does anyone have anything similar to tell?

BK

REPLY

BK, thank you for taking the time to share your story. Here are the pages on the website that discuss the two most common medications for eye injections:

Avastin Macular Degeneration

Lucentis

Anti-VEGF Therapy using Eye Injections

Kind Regards,

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

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