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It’s Called “Degeneration” for a Reason

Perhaps the hardest part of living with AMD (any variety of it) is that it's an inevitable downward spiral. All the available treatments - so far - can only, maybe, slow down the degeneration spiral. Or, at best, hold it in check for awhile. But the degeneration is inevitable. Permanent vision loss adds up. Hopefully slowly enough so that we can retain enough to get by for the remainder of our lives, but we all know some of us will not be that fortunate. We know it and fear it. And that very real possibility is very scary, whether we are willing to admit that to ourselves or not.

Slow progression

The degeneration usually progresses in very little, barely noticeable steps over the short term, but these become very obvious from year to year. Lines get more crooked. Images get progressively blurrier.

Changes in color and vision

Bright headlights and night driving in general gets more difficult until it becomes too dangerous. Then twilight starts getting difficult, and so on. Then sunlight gets to be an enemy. Using screens - like computers, smartphones, and TV - starts getting tiring, then kinda painful, then - eventually - impossible.

Recognizing faces is difficult

It gets harder to recognize familiar faces, not because of failing memory, but because of the distortion and grayed-out features. Then everything devolves to rather grayed-out. Blah! Not black; just blank, empty, not there. Eventually, life leads to a more "de facto" shut-in existence (both physically and emotionally).

Injections aren't a cure for me

Bleeds get treated with (seemingly endless) uncomfortable injections. Excess vessels get ablated. New injections and better supplements get developed, but none of these - absolutely NONE of these - are curative. They only retard the progressive damage.

So, of course, we patients (er, victims) are justifiably frustrated. Degeneration is nothing to look forward to... If only non-suffers could fully understand the angst.

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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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