Newly diagnosed dry MD .. and a bit confused

Newly diagnosed dry MD .. and a bit confused

Age (nearly) 67 .. had my first eye test last week and (guess what) the optician has diagnosed dry MD .. I think it must be slight because I have hardly any symptoms .. having researched MD a little more I'm now curious re. how the condition might develop .. suspect its maybe exposure to bright light (never worn sun glasses) or maybe a lifetime looking at compter screens (45 years in IT) .. it does seem that it wont get better though ? I will ask more questions when I pick up my first pair of specs later this week because the optician told me almost nothing about the condition at the eye test.

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  • Sorry to read that you've got dry AMD. I'm the same age and found out last week that I was diagnosed with dry AMD two years ago at the hospital, but not told at the time. It came as a bit of a shock, as you can imagine. I've found lots of information on the Macula site and the RNIB site - particularly about nutrition and how you can protect your eyes. Both have Helplines, either to phone or email, and they are excellent. Best of luck.

  • Thanks for reply Genevieve, the diagnosis comes as a bit of a shock but you have my sympathy re. the two year lag in your case .. I just dont know what to expect and suspect its not possible for anyone to predict this. All I can think to do is to use the Amsler test regulary to try detect any deterioration .. today it all looks fine, infact it was only the photo of my retinas which indicated a problem. I have started to take a supplement of Visisoft tablets daily (Vit A, lutein, zeaxanthin, anthocyanins, polyphenol ..) and I've always taken lots of exercise (running/cycling/orienteering) and never smoked. Started statins for cholesterol six months ago .. Have to pick up my first ever pair of specs. this week so I'll talk to the optician more about it .. thanks again and hope all goes well ... rgds Pig

  • Hi Pigosoratus,

    Sorry to read about your recent diagnosis. The progression of dry MD is very varied and at this stage it will be difficult for even your optician to predict the future.

    Genevieve mentions nutrition; this is one way of slowing down the progress of Dry MD, and of course protecting your eyes from the sun, not smoking and if you are able, some exercise to get the blood flowing.

    The Macular Society has a range of useful information leaflets on a variety of subjects which you can see at the following link;

    macularsociety.org/How-we-h...

    Alternatively if you want to speak to someone, just call the Macular Society helpline 0300 30 30 111 (9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday).

    Best wishes

    Helpline

    Macular Society

  • Thanks for reply Andy, like most newly diagnosed folks I've been researching actively this last week or so .. I think I must be at a very early stage because my symptoms are very slight and I dont yet wear specs, other than for close up reading ( x2 off-the shelf from Boots). The optician did say Bilberry extract might help so I've started with Visisoft tablets daily (Vit A, lutein, zeaxanthin, anthocyanins, polyphenol ..). Because I've always been active I take cod-liver oil and vit C daily (for last twenty years at least). I've never smoked and take lots of execise (running, orienteering, cycling, walking, squash ..) and since retirement last Christmas I do even more .. I was advised to take statins to reduce cholesterol last January. Not aware of any blood relatives with this condition .. seems quite rare. Just wondering how quickly it will progress .. I'll keep doing the Amsler test every week I think.

  • Hi Again Pigosoratus,

    You seem to doing all the right things, although you need to consider a supplement which is 'AREDS2' based. AREDS2 (Age Related Eye Disease Study number 2), recommends a daily nutritional supplement with the following for those with dry macular degeneration;

    Vitamin C 500mg

    Vitamin E 400 micrograms

    Copper 2mg

    Lutein 10mg

    Zeaxanthin 2mg

    Zinc 25-80mg (the lower amount is recommended if you have any gastrointestinal conditions)

    Vitamin A has been removed from the recommendations as it can potentially be carcinogenic in smokers and ex smokers.

    I hope that this is helpful

    Best wishes

    Andy

  • OK thanks for the AREDS2 advice .. Visisoft doesn't contain vit E although it does offer Vit A & anthocyaninn s .. I also get Zn via my Vit C pills .. no Cu though .. I feel the optician should have been much more forthcoming about all this .. I left without a proper appreciation of the significance of the diagnosis, its only my own research which has alerted me. .. thanks & rgds Pig.

  • Hi there,

    dont know if this helps but after seeing my Consultant for the first time he suggested that i start taking Macushield. He suggests this to his patients as he thinks it the best. All have their own favourites though.

    I get this from Boots who at the moment are doing a 3 for price of 2 which helps.

    Good Luck

  • Thanks for this Cormorin, 3 for price of 2 for Macushield sounds too good to miss .. I'll compare with the Visisoft that I've just started (90 days supply) .. rgds Pig

  • I am 45 and wondering is there many people out there with Wet AMD? I was diagnosed earlier this year and to my knowledge there is no family history and I am a active and non smoker etc. I was have just finished my first round of three injections and awaiting my next clinic appointment at the end of Nov- would welcome advise on correct questions to ask at the clinic. Also interested if there is much research in younger people getting AMD?

  • Hi AMDleft,

    The Macular Society have a useful document with a list of suggested questions to ask your hospital ophthalmologist. If you would like this, please email help@macularsociety.org

    Incidentally, if you have been told that you have macular disease and you are under 50 years old, it will not be classified as 'age related'. There is therefore another underlying cause.

    Some causes are genetic; others are due to myopia (severe short sightedness), or diabetes.

    You should ask your ophthalmologist if your condition has a name. If he/she cannot tell you, it is recommended that you seek a referral to another consultant who has expertise in this area. The Macular Society helpline 0300 30 30 111 (9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday), can help you locate a suitable expert.

    There is a lot of research going on across the world to not only finding the underlying cause of macular conditions, but also into finding a cure. The Macular Society produces regular publications for its members and more information is posted on our website macularsociety.org

    Best wishes

    Helpline

    Macular Society

  • Thanks for reply - i have looked at the possible causes and i do not seem to tick any of the boxes - i am lucky to have very good health until now - my visit to the eye clinic was my first hospital visit. I can go back three generations and there does not appear to be any sight problems that i am aware off. I was told at one of my hospital visit i had PED version of AMD! Will check out the website again.Is there any specific additional tests i should be asking to have carried out do you think?

  • Hi again AMDleft,

    PED is known as 'Pigment epithelial detachment'. We have some information about it here on the helpline at the Macular Society. It is too lengthy to post on here. We can email you a document if you request it from help@macularsociety.org

    Best wishes

    Helpline

    Macular Society

  • Hello Pigosoratus & Genevieve

    I too was diagnosed with dry AMD this year and was in shock when my optician told me this. So shocked I didn't ask very many questions and only thought of them when I was at home. I looked up AMD on internet and got lots of information there and joined the Macular Society which I found very helpful. I too am taking Retinex tablets every day in the hope it slows down the degeneration. Best of luck to you both xx

  • Hi .. my sympathies re. your shock at receiving news of AMD .. I felt the same at first but maybe its a long standing condition and is really quite stable .. all we can do is monitor things and follow the advice of the experts .. Andy of the Macular Society provided me with following best supplement recommendation : (Google AREDS2 to find a supplier)

    AREDS2 (Age Related Eye Disease Study number 2), recommends a daily nutritional supplement with the following for those with dry macular degeneration;

    Vitamin C 500mg

    Vitamin E 400 micrograms

    Copper 2mg

    Lutein 10mg

    Zeaxanthin 2mg

    Zinc 25-80mg (the lower amount is recommended if you have any gastrointestinal conditions)

    Vitamin A has been removed from the recommendations as it can potentially be carcinogenic in smokers and ex smokers.

  • I was advised at the hospital to take Lutein Omega 3. Just wondering if there are many other people taking this instead of Macushield?

  • I have just been diagnosed with dry MD. Can pigosaratus and DevonMary and Genevieve tell me how there journey has been and how they are doing ?

  • Well its 2.5 years on and my symptons have not developed further. I take "Natures Best Eyewise® Super Strength Lutein" supplement + vitamin C and keep fit and healthy. I had my two-yearly eyesight check at Boots this year and find I can see perfectly well with new specs/soft contacts. The optician spent quite a while looking into my eyes but made no further recommendations other than checking the Amsler grid periodically.

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