alt=A man thinks of various methods of maintaining his AMD diagnosis. Inside three thought bubbles are scenes of him exercising outdoors, choosing healthy foods, and wearing sunglasses.

Things To Remember if You Have Macular Degeneration

I remember the day after my first visit to a retinal specialist. He confirmed I had wet AMD in one eye and dry AMD in the other. This RS guy said to see the nurse to set up appointments for injections in my wet AMD eye! Did he just say he was going to stick a needle into my eyeball? This was nine years ago and I was as scared as a mouse in a snake pit!

Learning about my disease and taking action

Then I began the long process of learning about my disease. This learning phase took a long time and is still ongoing.  At the risk of boring you, I will recap the basic steps and actions we can take to best prolong the vision we have.

1. Smoking

This is the big one! If you still smoke, please consider quitting There are many aids and programs to help you do this. Things like nicotine patches and gum. This single act of quitting smoking is very important.

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2. Nutrition

Follow or at least try to follow the recommended eye-healthy Mediterranean Diet. It consists of oily fish like salmon and lots of greens and multi-colored vegetables. And avoiding processed food and added sugars.

3. Sunglasses

Not only good polarized sunglasses but hats with eye shielding brims. Our eyes with this disease are hypersensitive to bright glaring light.

4. Exercise and fitness

Transition into an active lifestyle should be moderate at first and slowly build into a more rigorous and beneficial routine. This can improve things like high blood pressure and help you get a better night's rest, etc.

5. AREDS2 supplements

AREDS/AREDS2 are deemed beneficial to those with dry AMD or wet AMD in only one eye.

Regular visits with the doctor

My RS is a really good guy, he wants me to keep tabs on myself and report in with any changes to my vision. I do this by regular use of the Amsler grid. Also, it is very important to avoid the human tendency to just wait until your next scheduled visit to report new anomalies!  If something changes, ask to speak to his nurse and I can almost guarantee they will see you very soon for an OCT and consult.

Relevant quotes:

  • Scared as a mouse in a snake pit
  • We are on the high wire without a net
  • Luck is an illusion embraced by those who are unprepared
  • I think everyone of you is as brave as the first man who ate an oyster
  • If the whole world were blind, how many people would you impress?
  • Shaken but not deterred
  • Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences
  • Knowledge comes in two ways. You divine it yourself or pay attention to clever friends.

So, Bravo to you if you have read this far! Sometimes it can be boring to review things we already know and if I’ve bored you, I apologize. But maybe it can help those new to our disease and remind us “old hands” to review the basics. I wish us all well on our shared eye health journey.

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 the advanced stage of dry age-related macular degeneration, or geographic atrophy (GA).

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The 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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