My experience with Occult CNV / Wet AMD
Three months ago I woke up with blurry vision in my right eye. It took 3 weeks to get an appt. with my eye doctor.
He then wanted me to put drops in my eyes for two weeks and then see a retina specialist. I had an appt with a retina specialist 5 weeks ago.
His diagnosis was wet macula degeneration and gave me an injection of Avastin.
He did not explain anything to me at all about macular degeneration or Avastin, treatments, time frames, etc....but said that my vision should improve in 7 days.
He said come back in one month for another injection, then three months after that and he would check my eye for any further blood vessel leakage.
My vision did not improve at all. I just had my second appt. and second injection of Avastin. The retina specialist did not respond to my comment about there being no improvement as he said.
I asked him about a corrective lens or other aid so that I could see better in the time being. He did not offer any suggestions.
Instead he said come back in another month (not three months as he said before) and that he promised that my vision would improve. This time he did not include any time frame with his comment. So, as of right now I am skeptical of this doctors comments and lack of comments or information.
He has not offered any information about wet macular deterioration or given me any information about prognosis, any time frame for future treatments; i.e.. how many, how long.
Suddenly I had Wet AMD
I am female, 70 years old, retired many years, and avid gardener.
On one afternoon in September, 2010, I came in from working in the garden seeing a bright patch in my right eye. I thought it was because I had stared at the sun inadvertently, or perhaps it was the image of the kitchen light, but a few minutes later it was still there.
It stayed there. I could see it, eyes shut or open, but it was transparent, my vision was still okay.
Finally after 2 weeks with the glowing patch-alternately red or green (depending on whether my eyes were open or closed)I made an appointment with an opthalomist. After umpteen tests, he concluded it was wet macular degeneration, and sent me to a retina specialist.
At my first appointment the specialist confirmed the diagnosis, and I agreed to have injections once a month, in October, November, and December.
After the first injection I thought it was getting better, there was no blindness, and I could read fine. Lines were fairly straight, according to the grid I was given. But then the wavy lines got worse,reading was more difficult, and it was harder to see the notes of the music I singing in church. There was a small blotted out area on the left part of the macula, blotting out faces and parts of the grid.
After the third injection the blotted out area has lightened, and I have learned to ignore the wavy lines by adjusting my focus somehow.
The specialist is encouraged because my right eye has stayed between 20/40 and 20/50, and my left eye, diagnosed with very minor dry MD, has stayed 20/20. I have been applying drops for 4 days after each injection, and taking an AREDS supplement twice daily. He has set my next appointment for 6 weeks.
My question is why I got the wet AMD at all; my diet I thought was pretty good; I had been eating most of the AMD recommended foods, weekly, for years.
Looking for answers, I wondered about an episode that occurred on the early morning of June 30, 2010. I had passed out at my outside back door, fell, hit my head on the sidewalk. I was taken to ER, and while there my heart stopped 4 times, so the doctor put in a pacemaker.
I regained consciousness that afternoon and after 3 more days in hospital I went home. I had no after effects except a slight headache and dizziness.
I wonder if the MD is related to that episode?
Or is it just old age?
Life with Wet AMD
I experienced the onset of this disease much earlier than most people. I had my first diagnosis at 43. It started with distorted and wavy vision.
I was lucky enough to get a doctor that used the newest technology. I began receiving monthly injections of Avastin. The results were incredible. I was able to recover the majority of my vision, but due to some scarring, I still had some loss.
After several treatments, he pronounced me cured and wished me well. Within 3 days I had another attack that had taken away almost all of the vision in my left eye. My vision was so poor that it was rated as "fingers at 2 feet" meaning that was all I was able to make out.
I resumed Avastin treatments and have improved to 20-60, but have now begun experiencing bleeding in my right eye as well.
I am now on Avastin therapy full time, and although the shots can be very unpleasant and painful, the results are incredible. I know that my prognosis for the long haul may not be that great, but with new research and continuing Avastin treatments, I believe I will be able to retain productive vision for years to come.
To anyone else in the same boat, hang in there. The shots will prolong your vision for many years to come.
Early Onset AMD, Wet Type.
I am a 46 year old physician, in otherwise excellent health. I have blue eyes, and I am of Northern European descent. My father and paternal Grandmother have/had AMD. They are of German ancestry.
About 10 years ago, I noticed some blurriness in my central vision, right eye, that resolved over the course of a few days.
I saw an ophthalmologist, and had a normal exam. In 2007, I saw another ophthalmologist for a routine visit. He noted some hyperpigmentation changes in both macula. My exam was otherwise normal.
I recently noticed some visual distortion in my right eye, although I am still correctable to 20/20. Text appears slightly washed out in my central vision. When I open and close my right eye rapidly, facing a white wall or blank monitor, I see a central grey area when first opening my eye, that rapidly fades away.
This area corresponds in size and shape to the central vision distortion. Text also appears to dip about 1-2 mm centrally.
My physical/eye exam was said to be similar to 2007. I was referred to a retina specialist. He also noted drusen bilaterally. I had an optical coherence tomography (OCT) that showed some macular atrophy and abnormal fluid on the Rt.
Although not technically AMD, because of my age, that is basically what I have. I had my first intravitreal treatment on Thursday.
Mike, I am not an ophthalmologist, but I don't think Drusen are reversible. I would humbly suggest that you, if you have not done so already, establish a relationship with a retinal specialist, and inquire as the need for a baseline OCT, to better evaluate any future changes. While this may not be relevant for current care regimens, it may be of value for future treatment decisions, as new therapies continue to come on line.
In short, I think I have had my disease/maculopathy for at least 10 years. I still have 20/20 vision, and treatments continue to improve.
Anyone afflicted is fortunate, in the sense that the disease is so common. A tremendous amount of effort and resources are being directed at the problem. I hope this helped someone.
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