My Journey with Wet & Dry Macular Degeneration in Australia

by Jean
(Sydney, NSW, Australia)

My mother and her sisters went legally blind with the last one's eye specialist saying we had hereditary form. In 2000 as part of a Eye and Ear research program I was told I had dry macular degeneration.

My own eye specialist must have known but said nothing. Professor Mitchell told me the signs of wet macular degeneration. It was only a couple of months later that I had a bleed in my left eye.

The specialist I went to did a number of tests as the bleed was right on the edge of where it could be possible to have it lasered. He & the surgeons decided that they would do it. So I am left with a totally blind spot in my left eye which since then has remained with dry AMD. Shortly after that I began to see things, rolling lines of script , then diagrams. I figured it was my eye compensating for the loss of vision. It was fascinating.

Then the right eye became wet just as the Lucentis injections were to become available in Australia. Due to having to travel for 3 hours to get to that specialist I was changed to a specialist only 40 minutes drive away, and began with the Lucentis injections.

I repsonded well to the treatment and was able sometimes to go for many months without injections. Then Eylea came on the maarket and I reacted badly to that drug so I went back onto Lucentis.

Years passed and then I was told that I must go on Eylea but he would use a syringe to take fluid out to relieve the eye pressure. That works and I can go several months withour injections.

To date 3 of my first cousins with whom I am in touch have wet AMD, one with it in both eyes. We have all warned our daughters to get a baseline check of their eyes from age 50.

I ask in the shops if a color is black on navy, etc. I also learned Braille as one aunt went deaf and blind. I have the Charles Bonnet condition if I am tired but less now. I cnnot see the birds clearly any more. Our drug names are different over in Australia.

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