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Community Perspectives on Living With Geographic Atrophy

Last updated: January 2024

Geographic atrophy (GA) is a chronic eye condition in which the cells in the retina slowly break down and die. This results in poor retinal function and vision loss. GA occurs most often in people who are over the age of 60. It is an advanced form of dry age-related macular degeneration, or dry AMD.1,2

A diagnosis of GA can come with a mix of emotions. You might feel relieved to have a diagnosis but also feel scared or anxious about what the diagnosis actually means. You might be unsure of how GA will affect you, including in your daily functioning, your relationships with others, and your treatment pathway.

Perspectives on living with geographic atrophy from our community

At MacularDegeneration.net, we aim to provide support to all people living with macular degeneration, including those who have been diagnosed with geographic atrophy. If you have received a diagnosis of GA, you are not alone. Read more below for just a few of the varied perspectives of community members and Community Health Leaders living with GA, and share your support or your own story by clicking the "Read the full story" buttons and leaving a comment!

Shock, confusion, and fear of the unknown

GenieGirl: "I love to drive. It scares me that I may have to be totally dependent on someone else eventually."

edielaude: "I recently heard what GA stands for – geographic atrophy. I guess it is the end of macular degeneration. I am petrified by this."

Sharon Moore: "At my checkup this past April... I was so shocked I didn’t ask a single question. Once I was home, I thought of all the questions I should have asked."

BrownEyedGirl: This was something I was not expecting to hear. This was the bad news. She said, 'At least it’s not right in the very center of your vision...' I think this was meant to be more good news, but I was still too stunned to appreciate it."

Community Poll

Which of the following best describes how you felt when you were diagnosed with geographic atrophy (GA)?

Finding support and remaining hopeful

CommunityMemberff3525: "I am 80 years old and wondered why my case was different. I think everything we can learn about AMD is helpful, and I am so happy I joined this group as I do not feel so alone in this journey."

lynnduke: "I pray that my right eye holds on, and I also pray that something comes along from the current research to stop the GA in my left eye. Stay positive, group! There is so much research, so many new things that are being studied!"

Richard Hallberg: "I can still read (electronic devices), watch TV, drive (in my new limited way), and do most of the things I always could."

Community Poll

Have you shared your geographic atrophy story with our community yet?

Share your GA journey in our community polls

No matter what you may be feeling as a result of your geographic atrophy diagnosis and no matter how long you have been living with GA, our community is here to support you. We thank our community members and Health Leaders for sharing their stories and support, and we hope people on all kinds of GA journeys will find the support and connection they need to thrive with GA.

Share your perspective with us by voting in a few more polls below!

Community Poll

If you've been diagnosed with GA, when were you diagnosed?

Community Poll

Which of the following do you experience with GA? (Select all that apply.)

Community Poll

What are you in search of while living with geographic atrophy? (Select all that apply.)

Editor's Note: As of August 2023, 2 drugs known as complement inhibitors - Syfovre™ and Izervay™ - have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat GA.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MacularDegeneration.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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