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Thread: Early Macular Degeneration, best lenses

  1. #1
    Rising Star NXTwoThou's Avatar
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    Early Macular Degeneration, best lenses

    My grandmother over the past few years has had her vision deteriate to next to nothing due to macular degeneration. Then a few weeks ago my mothers exam they informed her she's in the early stages of the disease.

    She's received her new prescription and asked me if there where any particular lenses she might get that helps minimize further damage.

    Anyone have any words of advice?

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    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    When the final chapter is written....

    When the final chapter is written on age related macular degeneration, I think the culprit is going to be identified as Ultra violet radiation. Your mothers lenses should have a UV filter. I am seeing dietary and vitamin therapy proscribed. It turns out that our grandmothers were right all along with "eat your carrots-brocolli etc"

    In the beginning stages she is probably hardly aware of it. It is by definition, a degenerative disease. It doesn't get better, and any sight loss can't be restored, but it may not get significantly worse either.

    Macular Degeneration is the loss of the central portion of vision. This is the part we use when we read. The peripheral vision is still good so the name of the game is to use magnification so that the unaffected periphery can be used. If you have a low vision person in your area, you can have her vision evaluated, and if necessary she can be given magnifiers which for the most part will solve her compromised reading.

    I approach low vision on a task oriented basis. She will identify the task (s) she is having difficulty with, and you look for the vision aid that will solve the problem. If you have difficulty finding a low vision specialist, email me and I'll tell you a couple of ways to go about finding one.

    You can take some comfort in the fact that there is an entire industry working on this problem and new solutions are coming out all the time.

    hj
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    since 1964 Homer's Avatar
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    Sorry ....

    Lenses are going to be visual aids not theraputic. Lenses will not or can not alter this pathology.
    The most often advised therapy is a vitamin regiment. A, C, E, Zink, Lutein, and other things. Eye Tabs, Ocuvite and many other porducts are available.

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    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    OOPS! Almost forgot....

    Homer is on the money with the theraputics, I immediately jumped to the visual aids solutions....(understandably because thats one of the things I do!)

    If your grandmother has it, and your mother has it..you ought to be checked out as well, and on a regular basis from now on.

    hj
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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    Always learning OptiBoard Bronze Supporter
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    Sorry to hear about the vision problems in your family. Hopefully any vision loss will be minimal. In addition to vitamin therapy consider the following...

    The scientific evidence for sunlight, specifically high energy blue and/or violet light, playing a role in macular degeneration is sufficient to warrant a position of prudence, even if some studies suggest it may not play a role. If you have AMD or are genetically predisposed towards AMD I would recommend melanin or amber/brown sunglasses whenever you are exposed to bright sunlight.

    Quit smoking. Smokers are two to three times more likely to develop AMD compared to non-smokers.

    Get regular eye exams and look at the "Amsler grid" every day.


    Hope this helps

    Robert

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    In addittion to that mentioned above use whatever lens or lens system gives the largest image on the retina. If a hyperope forward lenses are indicated. If a myope contact lenses indicated, Conciderations to base curve and retinal image. In some circumstances telescopic set up (more than one lens system) which can be all forward or cl combined with forward lenses.

    Of course, filter out U.V. and other useless wavelengths.

    Chip

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    Rising Star NXTwoThou's Avatar
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    Big Smile

    I greatly appreciate the assistance. I'd done multiple searches online for different information and wanted to make sure that UV filters and/or blue/amber tints where a way to go(rather than believing any-old advertisement I found from google). She's already on the vitamins.

    Again, thanks to everyone for such quick responses!

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    If you haven't already done so, try to involve your Mom and Grandmother with an AMD support group. There is quite an active one here sponsored through the Prevention of Blindness Society. You can check their website at www.youreyes.org. The local group publishes a wonderful newsletter that I keep in my office for my customer's reference.
    "Jargon is the last refuge of the scoundrel." --Roger Ebert

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    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Another thing I forgot....

    Folks with AMD usually see some colors better than others. I have an electronic magnifier which can produce yellow on blue, green on black, yellow on black and white on black as well as 2 shades of black on white.

    Corning makes a clip on kit, marketed by Eshenbach which has different tints allowing the wearer to percieve colors differently.

    My experience is that this can be a random thing, that is, you can't predict which colors are better ahead of time. Each individual is different......You will have to rely on someone else to explain why....that's not my area but I would love to know the answer to that myself.

    hj
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  10. #10
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    Also check out Glare Control Lenses such as CPF color filters to assist in seeing a little sharper. Sight can not be restored but may be enhanced. I use these often and also use NOIR Fitovers and flip ups for various visual tasks.

    There are a variety of low vision tools available to assist the patient in every day situations but the patient and their family must understand that there is no cure.

    We recommend Science Based Health products for our patients. The latest is a multivitamin with the eye supplements to be taken daily. I think it is Protect Rx. It will make its debut at the ASCRS around April 14.

    We have seen additional lines of sight gained with supplements. However caution must be taken in some formulas for patients on blood thinners, certain meds and smokers.

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