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THE MACULAR
DEGENERATION COMMUNITY

John


 

Name
John Trawick

Born
1954

Home
Southern California

Diagnosis
Early MD

Eyes Affected
Both

Eye Color
Hazel

Age at Diagnosis
53, but an OD first saw macular changes when I was 38.

Acuity
20/20 left, 20/60 right with glasses.

Treatment
Taking supplements, eating leafy green veggies, wearing sunglasses (about to get better partial blue blocking sunglasses) and exercising. I am now using a hand held magnifier for a lot of my reading and this is great--beats getting so close to the page with glasses! Also, am finding that I need the light on the magnifier for looking at some pictures, etc--both eyes seem to have lost some contrast sensitivity in the last couple of years.

Prognosis
Current vision good, though sensitive to glare, some contrast reduction, and adaptation to darkness is slower. Right eye no longer correctable and is 20/50 to 20/60 at best. Reading glasses/bifocals are now +3, and that helps a lot to overcome the contrast issue and allow the very detailed work in molecular biology that is my job. Taking supplements, wearing sunglasses, etc., to avoid worse problems for a while longer.

Family History
When I was 38 or 40, my optometrist said I had "macular mottling," but an ophthalmologist didn't see anything abnormal--just said it looked normal for my age. Two or three years ago, another optometrist saw drusen and told me about MD, but it took a year to get an ophthalmologist to look! That retinal specialist was very direct and told me what I have. Younger brother also has early MD--diagnosed in his 40s, no vision loss. Mother had cataracts.

Impact On Your Life
The increased difficulty with reading small type and looking at low contrast images have led me to use a magnifier. This has an advantage--it forces me to read more carefully.

Positive Effects
This is a good wake up call, and I respond to these things by learning as much as possible on the subject.

Adaptations
No longer go outside in the daylight without wraparound sunglasses. As I clearly have some issues with seeing detail in addition to more light and stronger bifocals I have been using a hand held magnifier for reading and detailed work. This makes reading much more comfortable.

Employment
Full-time scientist, molecular genetics.

More About Me
Like photography, reading, comic books, hiking.