Hooray! I’m Stable, or at Least My Eye Is
Last updated: May 2023
Yippee, whoo hoo, congratulations to me! No bleed! For those of you who’ve read my previous story, 'We Begin Again', you’ll remember that after a few months of stability, my wet eye had started to leak again. Just a minor bleed, but still, a bleed. So then on to a new series of 3 injections at 5-week intervals.
Concerned about my injection schedule
I was a little concerned when the original appointment schedule was just the 3 injections at 5-week intervals, then nothing for a stretch of 8 weeks. But they must know what they’re doing, as it seems to have worked out. I know they would have called me in sooner if anything had shown up at the last visit.
The treat and extend protocol
Yesterday, after the 8-week period with no injections, my OCT pictures showed no bleeding! Perhaps I’ll be one of the lucky ones who can extend it out to a twelve-week schedule. I can handle 4 injections a year, even if for the rest of my life.
The doctor then suggested it was my decision whether to have the next injection at 8 weeks or start extending it further and see him at 9 weeks. We decided together on 8 weeks, followed probably by 9 the next time if it was still stable. He does the “treat and extend” protocol.
Standard treatment for wet AMD
Treat and extend has, from what I understand, become the standard treatment for neovascular AMD. Studies have shown this seems to be the regimen that is most easily followed and yet still gives the desired outcome. This link has some good information on it.
Normal for one's sight to fluctuate
The only little fly in the ointment was my visual acuity test. BCVA (best-corrected visual acuity) in my wet left eye showed almost one line less, but my doctor could find no reason for it, no anatomical change showing up in the pictures, and I hadn’t actually seen any change.
We did discuss how on some days my sight was better than others, which apparently is quite normal. That’s a good thing to have confirmed, as many of you in our MacularDegeneration.net community have commented on it.
Using antihistamine eyedrops
One reason for the small decline might be because I’m in the middle of an allergy attack, which includes itchy, watery eyes, and I hadn’t used my antihistamine eyedrops. I had forgotten to call and ask if it was safe to use before an injection, so decided not to. Which of course was the right decision.
He said it would be okay to start them again today, thank goodness. Hopefully, this early fall pollen season will end soon!
Likelihood of advancing to wet macular degeneration
My dry right eye was basically the same as last time, just a few letters less, and similarly no change in the OCT pictures. Thankfully, it’s still dry.
When I said I knew it would advance to wet at some time; that having large soft drusen and one eye already wet made it more likely, he said that in his experience it was really no more than a fifty/fifty chance. Fifty/fifty is an acceptable number, but then again, it’s not my decision, is it? And I’m still smiling from yesterday.
Do you find that fear interferes with your ability to regularly go to eye specialist appointments?