Seeking My ”New Normal” as My Vision Changes
Hello, it's me again. I'm going to write about what I know. I'm also going to write about what I don't know. The topic is AMD and our eyes.
What do I know?
I'm a 71-year-old guy with AMD. Eight years ago, I found out I have wet in one eye and dry in the other. I've had over 60 anti-VEGF injections so far. For the first 6 of these years I was status quo, my baseline vision did not change much. Now, however, my vision is worsening. Oddly enough, my dry eye is the culprit.
Changing vision in my dry macular degeneration eye
My retina specialist (RS) recently told me that my wet is still in the "early stage,” even after 8 years and a whole lot of shots! He went on to tell me my dry eye is in the intermediate stage with the beginnings of geographic atrophy. In just the last 6 months my dry eye vision has gone from 20/30 to 20/50 and on some exams, 20/70.
Editor's note: Wet macular degeneration is always considered an advanced stage of macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration can be in the early, intermediate, or advanced stages.
Learning my new normal
My vision has really gone wonky on me. I've had fear of the future stuff come up, it's awakened my ”inner chicken” and is scaring me. I have the same lenses in my glasses that I had before this rapid decline. To me, I'm thinking I should see my optometrist and get new lenses. But my RS says he doesn't recommend it when I'm in such a state of flux? This is frustrating and vexing, I mean, I want to see better...now!
Improving vision in my wet macular degeneration eye
Something positive is happening in the midst of my dry eye getting worse. Here's the good part; my wet eye is getting better! Yep, you read that right. How is this possible, you ask? Well, after 8 years and 60+ injections of Avastin, Lucentis, and Eylea, my RS switched me to Beovu. My wet eye went from 20/50 to 20/30 after just 2 injections! I am cautiously optimistic, I hope this is not some anomaly that is only temporary. Time will tell and I will keep you guys posted on how it goes.
So, what's the problem?
It's the fact that my new normal (for now, anyway) is my dry eye went from 20/30 to as bad as 20/70 and my wet eye went from 20/50 to 20/30. The lenses in my current glasses we're set up for 20/30 left (now 20/70) and 20/50 right (now 20/30)! So, that's where my ”wonky” vision comes in. The lenses in my glasses are all wrong for the vision I now have.
What should I about it?
My initial reaction is to run out to my optometrist and get new lenses, even though my current lenses are only about a year old. I posed this dilemma to my RS and he discouraged me from running out for new lenses right now. He explained I am mid-course in my new treatment regimen and am in a state of flux, he advised waiting a while before changing my lenses. Frustrating I tell ya! So I'm walking around with ”wonky” lenses and wondering when I should see about getting new lenses.
Waiting for some stability
I know I'm not unique. Many of you have or are already going through something similar. What did you do about it? It's expensive and unreasonable to "chase good vision” by prematurely buying new lenses every year. Or is it? I am in this predicament and trying to figure out what to do. I guess I'll just take the advice of my RS and do the best I can until it reaches a tipping point, where I have to get new glasses.
Where does that leave me?
It leaves me happy that the wet eye is getting better and sad that the dry eye is getting worse. So I guess you could say, I'm hopeful and discouraged at the same time! That's enough for now on the negative and confusing side of things.
Closing with the positives
Beovu looks very promising for me. There are ongoing clinical trials for both wet and dry AMD involving new drugs, gene therapy, and even stem cell therapy. The future holds much promise, I try to remember that just 20 years ago, not much could be done for AMD and now look at us! They are doing amazing things with more in the pipeline for the future! I wish us all well on our health journey.
Do you still drive?