My Macular Degeneration Adventure

by Harry Horacek
(Manchester, NJ)

It all started on 11/7/2002 when a routine eye exam showed the early signs of macular degeneration. The eye doctor said not to be too concerned yet as it would progress slowly.

Two years later I started to see indications of macular degeneration in the form of straight lines being wavy.

The condition remained relatively unchanged until 3/5/2007 when Wavy lines became more prevalent. The Doctor saw evidence of AMD in left eye.

He wanted me to continue with lutein pills and veggies. Also stop smoking and use UV sunglasses. Progress should be very slow if I control risk factors.

Eyesight still unaffected by the macular degeneration but cataracts in left eye are growing and there is some impact on vision.

Dr. said my vision was still 20/20 with glasses.

In 2009 My eye doctor referred me to a retina specialist who diagnosed me with dry macular degeneration in the left eye and wet macular degeneration in my right eye.

He began a series of injections of Avastin in my right eye. After several months of this treatment the bleeding in the back of the eye stopped. There has been no bleeding in the back of the eye for over a year.

At 73 years old, I consider myself lucky so far.

Harry Horacek

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Left Eye Finally Gave up

by Bill
(Wiesbaden, Germany)

The short version of this story is that after ten years of being dry, my left eye went wet and had further leaking after oufr injections of Avastin. As my Doctor said, "it can't get worse."

Having one useless eye is not really a problem Many people function well. Some of them are even professional sports figures.

The thing to worry about now is whether and when the second eye may go. If it follows the left, it means the end of normal reading and driving, as far as I can tell.

I might be able to continue teaching (I am a college professor) by means of various technologies, but I am so near retirement (I'm 74) I'm not sure I want to make the effort. As for writing, I would have to find a way to continue some way.

From my experience I must stress how important your physician is, not so much as technological expert, but the more so as one who sustains a positive spirit, and who can show a little polite sympathy.

I just dumped a doctor (German) who could only bludgeon you with bad news. He can damage one's spirit. Luckily, I found a brilliant spirit who knows her business but also can stay with you in the light side of things. It's really a gift.

I can also recommend some American physicians whom I visited who are at one of the highly rated medical centers in Maryland.

Anyway, by writing this I'm putting myself in the public community of those who have the same problems.

As things get worse, I'll be looking for fellow sufferers who have solved the practical problems.

But meanwhile, any shared experience is welcome.

If you are in Germany, and know of any groups or other resources, especially send me an e-mail.


Bill Kerr

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Not me, I'm too Young to have Macular Degeneration

by Claudia
(Marathon, FL)

At the age of 50, I was diagnosed with dry macular degeneration in both eyes.

I didn't know anything about MD, and since my vision at that time was fine, I pretty much continued my life without thinking about it. Then when I was 64 I woke up one morning and the horizon was wavy. Everything was wavy. This happened in my right eye. The vision in my left eye is at this point good. I couldn't drive.

I made an appointment with an optometrist who recommended that I make an appointment with Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, FL. which I did immediately.

My first visit to Bascom Palmer resulted in an injection of Avastin. About every two months I continued to receive injections. For about a year I have enjoyed better vision after the injections.

I am 65 today and I see my doctor tomorrow. Since my last injection my vision has gotten worse where the central part of my sight has gotten darker. This is new and I am concerned when I see my doctor tomorrow that we may be a point where there is nothing else that can be done for me.

I am optimistic and praying for a cure. Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband that I can lean on through this journey.

P.S. My 98 year old mother has MD in her right eye too.

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