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My 10 Reasons for Hope With Dry AMD

I definitely have hope for my future with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Some of my hope is static. It’s probably more like optimism — for example, hoping that scientists will get a move-on with their research. I don’t have to do anything about this hope – it’s based on my observations that science is progressing.

Other parts of my hope are more active, such as looking for the best doctors and searching for ways to cope if my vision deteriorates. I’m doing things to back up these hopes.

10 reasons for hope for the future

Regardless of which form of hope it is, these are the 10 main reasons why I think that "things will be OK."

1. New treatments

New treatments now exist for the advanced stage of dry AMD, geographic atrophy, in the form of injections. My retina specialist said he would not recommend the first one, Syfovre, because of reported complications. I’m hopeful that the newest one, Izervay, will fare better and that it will slow down the advanced form of macular degeneration without too many complications. If this disease can at least be slowed down, it will give researchers more time to develop a cure.

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2. Possible cures and other treatments

Speaking of a cure, researchers are working on gene therapy and stem cell treatments. Although they aren’t widely available just yet, I have hope that treatments will be developed and implemented in the near future.

3. Stretching treatment schedules

If my dry AMD turns to wet, I am hopeful that newer treatments, such as Vabysmo, will be more successful than their predecessors. It seems that Vabysmo will enable longer breaks between injections. We are already seeing this happen for some members of our community. The difficulty in getting to appointments is one reason people drop out of their treatment, and the less often one has to go, the easier it is.

4. Advances in technology

Improvements in technology (and my ability to take advantage of them) are another reason I have hope that I will be able to cope. My parents had to plug in their radio, adjust the frequency, turn up the sound, and try to listen to their favorite stations. Then, a cleaner or someone else would unplug the device, and they’d have to start all over again. They couldn’t see well enough to do this (both had AMD), and sometimes they sat in silence. I only have to ask Alexa on my smart speaker to play my music, turn on my radio station, or make my shopping list. It’s so easy, and I feel lucky that I have this support.

5. Accessible grocery delivery services

Talking of shopping lists, I can prepare my order at my own pace on my laptop, send it to the supermarket, and have it delivered to my door. That’s one worry taken care of!

6. Adjustments to entertainment devices

My large-screen television is much easier to see than my old one. I can make lots of accessibility adjustments, and some commands can even be given by voice. This gives me hope that I will be able to enjoy my movies and documentaries even if my vision worsens.

7. Descriptive audio for movies and live performances

Live theatre is another one of my loves, and real-time audio description has recently been introduced to many theatres in Sydney. (It has been available at movie theatres for a few years already.) One of my friends is doing this job, and she has taken me with her for a demonstration. If I lose the ability to see the finer details of the acting or the set, I’ll be able to have these described to me through my own discreet headphones. This means I can enjoy the theatre for many more years.

8. Inspiration from my parents

My parents coped with AMD (one with wet and one with dry) until their late nineties. They certainly faced difficulties, such as a fire and a flood in their house, but they maintained their joy in life. I hope to be able to do the same.

9. Knowledge is power, power is hope

I have more knowledge now than I did when I was first diagnosed over a decade ago. Through this community and my experience with family members, I’ve learnt a lot. They say, "Knowledge is power," and I say, "With power comes hope."

10. What gives you hope?

Number 10 can be anything you want it to be! Do you have something else that gives you hope for the future?

Whether it’s hope for better treatment, hope for a cure, or just hope that I will cope, it doesn’t matter. Whichever one it is, it’s hope that keeps me going.

Treatment results and side effects can vary from person to person. This treatment information is not meant to replace professional medical advice. Talk to your doctor about what to expect before starting and while taking any treatment.
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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