“A diagnosis of Macular degeneration can feel like a hammer blow. It threatens every aspect of life. With knowledge and thought you can come to terms with this disease. A satisfying life is possible, although it will be different than before.” Says Optometrist Paul Wallis
Listen to Paul Wallis' introduction
I realised some time ago that my approach to AMD differs from a lot of my colleagues. Trying to convince my colleagues about how to live with AMD is considerably harder than talking to people with AMD. Consequently I have started writing a book for the family and friends of people with AMD.
As an onlooker it is difficult to comprehend the problems of losing sight and how all encompassing it is, the individual almost has to begin a new life. So the book will be about how to help someone with sight loss from AMD.
I will post the first provisional chapter shortly, any feedback on it would be appreciated.
At this point I must declare my neutrality I have no shares in any supplement companies and I have never received any payments from supplement companies.
The point of supplements in Macular disease is to reduce the inflammation in the retinal area the retinal pigment layer is fragile and the anti oxidant effect of the supplements reduces the likelihood of damage to this tissue.
The main questions are:
- Should I take them?
- Why should I take them?
The answers to these questions are do you have early degenerative changes? If no you don’t need any supplements, they won’t stop changes starting. This is applicable to worried children of AMD sufferers.
If you have early changes then yes take supplements. They won’t reverse changes, they will not improve vision. BUT they may prevent further changes occurring in 30% of cases. In 70% of cases they will have no effect at all. So there is a good chance they may help.
You will not notice any change in your vision by taking the supplements they are an insurance policy that is worth taking, If vision does deteriorate you would always regret it if you hadn’t taken them, you would never know whether you would have been one of that 30%.
Which supplements to use? That is up to you again I remain neutral on that most of them are pretty similar each brand has its own particular selling point but the end results are pretty similar for them all.
Blindness is a many faceted problem. While this blog is essentially about macular degeneration it helps to know about different forms of eye disease. I caught this radio feature on the BBC’s World service, Singer and broadcaster Mônica Vasconcelos is slowly losing her sight. Originally from Brazil, she now lives in London. This is her talking about her adaption to losing her sight.
It raises several issues that are worth pondering, but first of all a note of warning although she is struggling with loss of vision it is nothing like the loss from macular degeneration. She has retinitis pigmentosa this is almost the polar opposite of macular disease loss in its affects. (For more info about different forms of visual loss go to this post Blind people are not all equal).
Her relationship with a white stick is a running battle that is tied to her her brother who also has RP. She identifies most of the arguments for and against white sticks. It is a good listen, I highly recommend a few minutes of your time to learn from the coal face about coping and the challenges of the white stick. It lasts 50 minutes please click on the link below
Technically this is not a magnifier but it makes their use far more effective if you read the post on using a magnifier you will have seen you need to hold the magnifier close. The correct distance means you have to hold the magnifier and book very close, but this is tiring. It is difficult to hold a book and magnifier for long periods.
The answer is a reading stand in some form. You can then move your magnifier over the book without having to hold it, it is also at a comfortable angle.
The construction of the stand is critical, if you go on-line you can buy stands for resting cookbooks on. These are fine for the purpose intended but they are not good for the partially sighted you need it to support quite a lot of weight. You will press on the page so the design has to be pretty robust. It also needs to have a variable angle for ease of use. If you are interested go to amazon reading stands .
If youare handy you can make one yourself.