My Early Diagnosis Story

My story began about 8 years ago when I got the results from my genetics test. I joined 23&Me to find out about my ancestry which involved sending in a sample of my saliva. I was 73 then.

Finding out more information

The genetics results showed that I had genetics for MD from BOTH parents! I was shocked.

Since my mother and father were both ONLY children, and ALL of my family members died before age 65 with no signs of AMD, I was completely unexperienced with AMD.

I immediately Googled AMD and was shocked again by the nature of the disease. I found out about the Amsler Grid and printed out a full sized copy of the grid. I found NO signs of AMD.

Questions for the doctor

At my next annual visit I told my ophthalmologist about the genetic results and he said not to worry. He saw no signs of MD and he would find any signs in the future at my annual visit.

Vision changes

On Sunday night, January 24, 2021 I noticed that my eyes felt blurry and that I was having trouble reading. I decided to print out the Amsler Grid and check my eyes. The right side of the chart was caved in! I KNEW I had Macular Degeneration. I was 79.

On Monday, January 25 I called the central appointment service for Duke Ophthalmology and made an appointment for a Cornea Specialist for the very NEXT DAY!

On Tuesday, January 26, I had the many eye tests for AMD and then saw the ophthalmologist specializing in retina problems. He showed me the images of my retinas and explained that I have Wet AMD in my right eye and Dry AMD in my left eye.

My first injection

At the first visit I had my first injection of Eylea in my right eye. I began with injections every four weeks, and showed immediate improvement in my right eye. Injections were spaced further apart and now 2.5 years later I have injections every 12 weeks. The Dry AMD in my left eye has remained stable all this time.

I cannot even tell that I have AMD, and I never could. But thank goodness I checked the Amsler Grid. And thank goodness I had the genetic testing years before that prompted me to investigate macular degeneration.

Others with MD near me

I live in a retirement community, and many of the residents (average age 85) have AMD. Most have success with the injections, sometimes for 20 years! A few are now legally blind, but still manage to participate and join us in the dining room every evening.

I am encouraged that the future for my AMD will be manageable. I am delighted that this support Forum for Macular Degeneration patients is excellent, providing information, and personal stories of experience, strength and hope.

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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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