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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Aug 22, 2018
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It's time to try to take control!
by: Anonymous

Yes, Richard, your situation can be very depressing. But, if you scan down the list of contributions to this site, you'll find several instances of people who've had some success at fighting back against AMD.

I'm one of them, having decided I have nothing to lose since this affliction runs in my family. Perhaps seeing how a few contributors have managed to improve their conditions will bolster your resolve to be more aggressive in handling what transpires in your case. Even if you only delay what I gather you now see as imminent, that might give you a more positive outlook on life. Best wishes. I'm rooting for you.

Jul 04, 2018
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Depression with Macular Degeneration
by: Margeret

It is highly undestandable that anyone with AMD, be it wet or dry feels depressed. I hope you all have a good retinal consultant. With the wet AMD you will have the Lucentis injections in the eyes, which definitely can help, ( give it time) If this does not help there are the Eleya injections.

Please, do not despair, as the advancement in this area are truly ongoing.

I personally started off with Nutrof Total which I saw advertised in the eye clinic when my husband had his cataract operation ( which was highly successful). After this I started on the Macushield Gold supplements which are great. If I had listened to,the doctor who,told me I would go blind in 1999 ( which I did) I Went into a deep.depression.
Please get a good retinal surgeon, who you can trust,. ( it’s a gut feeling).
Do not despair, as there are so much advancement in AMD, especially with the monthly magazine you can get from the AMD, which has helped be a lot.
Please get in touch with the AMD on the web,,you’ll get a monthly magazine which has all the information to help you.

Please remember there are always advancement in medicine, but we all,have to,help .


Thinking of you xxxxxxx

Jul 03, 2018
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Dealing with depression when you have AMD
by: Anonymous

Dear Richard,

Have you tried listening to books on CD? They
are available at local libraries and bookstores.
As my vision started to get worse, I started listening to books and found them very enjoyable.

When I feel upset about my eyes, I try to focus
on what I can see now and not what I can't see.
I also try to remember all of the very positive things that I have to be grateful for each day. Try to re-direct your thinking to something more positive, when you start feeling depressed and, with practice, it helps.

Just a few tips that others have passed on to me:
wear sunglasses that block out UVA and UVB rays, wear blue blocker glasses when using the computer and watching TV. Eat a healthy diet - 5 fruits and green veggies a day and fish once a week. Take the AREDS 2 Vitamins every day. Check out this site for very helpful tips on reading magnifiers, diet, and blue blocker glasses. The site is quite beneficial.
I wish you many blessings and good health.

Jul 03, 2018
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Audio books, magnifying lamps
by: Anonymous

Richard,

Have you tried listening to audio books on CD?
You can get a variety of non-fiction and fiction books on CD at the library and bookstores. I have macular degeneration. As reading became more difficult, I have found that listening to books is very enjoyable.

Check out the "Magnifiers and Aids" section on this site. It is quite beneficial. I have also found that eating at least five green vegetables and fruit every day and fish once a week has helped slow my MD. A good diet is so important for the eyes. I also wear blue-blocker glasses when I watch TV and use the computer. They block out the blue light which is so damaging to the retina.

Check this site for information about blue-blocking glasses. It's also important to wear sunglasses that block out UVA and UVB rays to protect your eyes. These are just some tips that
I have found to slow down the progression of my AMD. I hope they help.

Jul 03, 2018
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I know what you mean
by: Anonymous

Hi. I've been having trouble reading because of the AMD (dry and wet) I've got. But I have no problem telling people I can't read books anymore. I live in a retirement community which has folks with much worse vision than mine. It allows me to feel lucky. They listen to all sorts of books on "tape." Before she died, I took Marjorie Stoneman Douglas to talk with medical students about water quality. She told them she couldn't read print books anymore but was learning geology from Books for the Blind. They loved her. I think she was in her early 90's at the time.

I read things on my great big computer (looks like a room divider almost) because I can enlarge the print easily.

In my life I've had a Plan B for just about everything. As a photographer, losing visual acuity will be a problem down the road. I'm 77. So I've resumed writing to do something creative and keep my brain active. I started a memoir group here at Lanier Gardens. Three of us have vision problems. Joy (age 89) is legally blind. She prints her stories in huge fonts and brings her lighted magnifying glass. Roland is 97 and can see large print. We laugh a lot.

Hope you'll find your way to something that will satisfy you.

Jul 03, 2018
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Life Is Still Good
by: Sue

Hi Richard - I write here for my 92 yr old mother who has AMD - dry form. She was diagnosed at age 50 with early on-set, but her vision didn’t really change too much until she was about 85 yrs old. This is when she gave up driving.

She still sees TV and she gets books on tape. If you can still go on the computer, you can download an App called "Audible" and you can order books on-line and listen to the book. It works out well. This can be done for newspapers as well I think.

My mother always ate her green leafy veggies, as well as eggs and berries. These are the antioxidants you need to steady what vision you do have. She takes the AREDs 2 vision vitamins as well. She has had this for a long time and has adapted to the vision she has. She sees enough to get around and she even lives independently in her own home. In life nothing ever stays the same, but we can adapt new ways to help us with our deficits as we age.

There’s a world of help out there for us all. She gets her books through the Association for the Blind and visually impaired and she listens to them on tape. But, she is not computer savvy, and I feel that the computers have more of a choice in books and how you want to read them. If you go to Amazon for example, you can order a book and download it to your computer and they give you the choice as to whether or not you want it read to you or you want to read it yourself. They may even have large print! Do some research or someone else may have some advice. Don’t despair. You don’t loose all your vision and you will be surprised at how much you can still see! Keep us posted and my best to you and your wife.

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