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A woman faces toward an unseen window, the the blinds casting a shadow on her and the wall behind her, covering one eye and part of the other that is crying a single tear.

Not My Good Eye!

Today was the first day I couldn’t see well enough to read. It was sudden. It hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s been the only thing on my mind since it happened. Even though it’s only (only!) one eye. Had I ever thought I would be saying it’s only one eye? No. I live in a time when science and medicine can fix almost anything.

Struggling to read

The lightning struck when I was sitting in the retinal specialist’s office with a bandage over my wet left eye while waiting for my next injection. At this point, in my previous appointments, with my glasses, I could still read a magazine, or work on my phone with my good eye. Today, I struggled to focus, but that blurry grey area right in the middle of each sentence I was trying to read would not budge.

My worsening dry eye

I knew my dry right eye was getting worse, but the Amsler grid hadn’t shown me this. It was such a gradual, insidious decline. The OCT pictures done on that eye just a few weeks ago showed it hadn’t advanced to wet, which had been my main worry. I had even tried penciling in the blurry clouds on the Amsler grid to compare over time, but that is easier said than done, and didn’t show much, if any, change.

Seeing things differently

I thought of Sue’s and Andrea’s descriptions of eccentric viewing and tried it. It seems to work, but is very slow and will take practice. But at least it may be a workable option. Thank goodness for that. Who else on here has tried it?

My good, wet eye

So now, my wet left eye has become my “good” eye. If I squint and work at it, and the light is perfect, I can sometimes read the best before dates at the grocery store without my glasses. It focuses more closely, while the right is better for distance. But what happens if I have a major bleed? So far the injections are holding the line, but I believe when even a minor bleed happens, a small bit of vision is lost.

As I sit writing this, I still have a bit of blurriness from today’s injection. Perhaps that’s emphasizing the depth of this new unwanted knowledge, or outlook.

Research for dry AMD

So now more research. I know that a stem cell treatment using a retinal patch is being studied for the geographic atrophy of dry AMD and may possibly be available when or if I need it.

Implantable telescope

An implantable telescope is now being used with some success in people with bilateral end-stage dry AMD. This apparently reduces the effect the blind spot has on the central vision. It is becoming more common in Europe and the United States. As of this writing, one person in Canada has had this done successfully.1 But at a cost of $20,000 our medical services plan will not be in a rush to cover it.

Radiotherapy or laser

Perhaps a form of radiotherapy or laser will prove to be the winner. Scientists are constantly working on newer, different forms of treatment for us as we now make up such a large proportion of the population. We can only wait and see. And hope.

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.

  1. Surgeons insert telescopic lens into Quebec City woman's eye in Canadian first | CBC News. CBCnews. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/telescopic-lens-surgery-1.5020225. Published February 15, 2019. Accessed September 19, 2019.

Comments

  • rifenbc
    2 weeks ago

    I’ve read through a lot of your posts and find that your experience is close to mine with regard to having dry amd in my left and wet in my right eye. But I also have Glaucoma in both eyes. That was until about 4 months ago when my left eye went from dry to wet. I knew there was always that chance, but since I’ve had the wet w/injections every 4 wks since 2003, I figured the left would just stay dry.
    I actually noticed the change on my amsler grid first before the Dr. saw it in my eye. I mentioned it for two months and finally he said it had shown up on the photos he takes every other month. So I began getting an injection every 2 weeks for one for my left, and one for my right. (they can’t be done on the same day apparently) The left eye isn’t as aggressive I guess because we have stretched it out to every 6 wks now and we’ll see if it stays at the same level.
    I think the problem for me is the combo of the Glaucoma AND the amd! The Glaucoma was diagnosed the same time the AMD was. It’s strange that it was just 2 wks after my cataract surgery. It was wonderful to see so clearly for those two weeks – no glasses – nothing. I felt like a teenager again. Then boom, one day I looked at a picture on the wall in my house and the inner frame looked like it was hand painted because it was “wiggly”. I thought, that’s strange, I don’t remember that before.
    Within a few days – everything that had a straight line in my apt was “wiggly” and I called the eye dr. He had me come in ASAP.
    Both diseases were diagnosed that day and I began getting an injection that day and every 28 days in my right eye.
    The Glaucoma remained stable for about 5 yrs and I had it checked monthly when I got my injection. The pressure was about 10-12.
    I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis and had to take corticosteroids for the past 12 yrs. I had a 2-yr flare in 2008 and had to go on disability. At that time, the high dose of steroids I needed to control the flare caused the pressure to rise in my eyes. I began using a presc. drop every day and it kept the pressure about 15. It took another year before I got on a biologic for my RA and was able to slowly come off the high dose of the prednisone. But during that time the pressure continued to rise – 17 -18, so we added a second drop, this one 3 times a day. Plus I had my third laser treatment to try to open up the drainage in the eyes. Each treatment helped less and less and finally I was up to pressure of 23 in one eye and 25 in the other eye. That’s when the Dr. added drainage tubes in both tear ducts to help lessen the pressure. My vision was so blurry with the AMD and floaters and Glaucoma, as of 3 yrs ago, I had to stop driving.
    I haven’t met anyone else that had both diseases and would sure like to talk to someone who is dealing with it. Now that my left eye has wet AMD also, I have the double -double whammy for slowly losing my sight.
    I don’t know about you, but the most frustrating thing about the disease for me has been the blurriness. I have many magnifiers which helped in the beginning to make things larger, but not clearer anymore. I find the evenings are the worst – maybe using my eyes tires them. It’s just being able to see “a little” of things that makes me want to cry at times… (or scream). I feel like it would be easier to not see at all then to see things blurry or partial. I know that’s crazy. I don’t want to lose the sight I do have, but having to struggle to see everything is so hard to try to talk to people about. They try to help by saying “it could be worse” type answers. Yah. I KNOW it could be worse, but this isn’t a walk in the park either!

    There, got that off my chest for now I guess. I suppose I thought I would “always” have my left eye to keep seeing from but now with the glaucoma with 3 different drops 1-once a day, 1-twice a day, and 1-three times a day, plus shots in both eyes every 4 AND 5 weeks apart makes me just want to give up after all these years.
    When I tell my dr. I’m tired of all this – my life is controlled by visits to him, plus the infusion at the hospital once a month for my biologic for RA, and other dr. appts. for injections in knees and shoulders for Osteoarthritis. He tells me “no, you don’t want to stop treatments – it will just speed up the disease”.
    So, this year, it was a little hard to find the Thanks, in thanksgiving. I listened to an audiobook.

  • Cora Lyn Sears moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    Hi, rifenbc. Thanks for reading my stories. I’m so sorry you’re now having to deal with so much! I know cortisone was mentioned as part of the reason for my cataracts, both the injection for arthritis and the topical for my eczema. I’m researching right now about other implications with it. We do have some members in our community with both AMD and glaucoma. Would you care to share this as a story and perhaps then get a number of responses from them? You can do that here: https://maculardegeneration.net/stories/ Thanks so much for reaching out and for sharing, Cora Lyn, MacularDegeneration.net Team Member

  • Theresa Mabe moderator
    2 months ago

    For most of my life, my right eye was always my “good” eye. My left-eye was more near-sighted and it was where my myopic macular degeneration symptoms first developed. That switched last fall when a bad bleed in my right eye left me with a big increase in my central distortion. It’s definitely been a weird shift having to re-wire my brain to not rely on my right eye for reading or focusing on tasks! Luckily my eyes have been fairly stable for the past year so they’ve been able to adjust and balance each other out.

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