When AMD Settles In
Although I've shared my story about my diagnosis, there was a point when my vision started to change. When it started to deteriorate it really settled in that I have macular degeneration.
My history with AMD
I am a 71-year-old man, I have been retired for almost 6 years. Eight years ago, I was diagnosed with wet AMD in my right eye and dry in the left eye. Although it was shocking and scary to find out I had this disease, my baseline vision remained quite stable. It is just in the last 6 months that I have experienced a decline.
Whistling past the graveyard?
Admittedly, I was asymptomatic for most of the past eight years. My vision really didn't change and I settled into a guarded optimism that my prospect of a normal future was intact. Yes, I had to have injections for the wet eye, I've had 60+ over the last 8 years! I was administered in chronological order; Avastin, Lucentis, Eylea and am now on Beovu. There is a human trait, that we somehow find a way to remain optimistic in the midst of a crisis. I guess you could say, I was whistling past the graveyard. That's a maudlin analogy of our trait of always saying, I'm alright, I'm alright, even when we’re not!
AMD symptoms began to show
The following conditions began to appear:
- During my eye exams, where previously my eyes were 20/25 to 20/30 with corrective lenses... they were now 20/40 to 20/50.
- Reading street signs and numbers while driving became a challenge. I still drive now, but I keep to my own familiar neighborhood. When venturing out, I use Google maps with the voice function to help me navigate. It is rare for me to drive at night now.
- I am a big reader, I am always reading a novel. I do it on a device now, I no longer read standard books or paperbacks. To read a TV program description, I need to lean in or even get up and walk towards the TV to see it.
- I need more light in the house at night, colors are less vibrant, it's kind of like colors are pastel rather than bright.
Am I seeing these symptoms in my dry or my wet eye?
Both! The declines are in both my dry eye and the wet eye. The deterioration has happened rapidly in the last 6-8 months. In discussions with my RS, he tells me that there currently is nothing that they can do for the dry eye. This is quite sad but an unfortunate reality for the present. Hurry up scientists and doctors, we need a cure! It will be a monumental and great day when that happens! For my wet eye, we are now trying the latest anti-VEGF drug Beovu. Beovu was just approved in October of 2019. It is touted as possibly extended injections out to 12 weeks or more! Wouldn't that be marvelous to only need 4 shots a year! Also, Beovu has been shown to actually improve vision in some patients, allowing them to read a few more lines on the eye chart!
Where am I now?
I'm actually ok, I'm not panicking. It's still early with the Beovu, time will tell. I have much to be grateful for. Meaning I'm still doing all the things I want to do. I have found this site which offers mutual support and encouragement. We can share and learn so much from each other's experiences. So for now, I'm good. I'm still whistling past the graveyard.
Do you still drive?