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THE MACULAR
DEGENERATION COMMUNITY

Laura


 

Name
Laura Rose

Born
1962

Home
Santa Cruz, CA

Diagnosis
Myopic Degeneration

Eyes Affected
both

Eye Color
dark brown

Age at Diagnosis
29

Visual Acuity
I am -21.5 in right and -23.0 in left. These numbers are from 1995.

Treatment
When the first retinal hemorrhage happened 10 years ago in my left eye, my RS tried the drug Interferon since I guess it was being tested at that time for age-related md and perhaps he thought it would help me. All it did I believe was give me flu symptoms. The hemorrhage eventually healed on its own with some slight effect in my sight. I had another hemorrhage a few years ago, but again the wavy lines disappeared after a few months without treatment. My new RS has recommended I consider scleral reinforcement surgery. I am just beginning to hear about PDT, but do not think my eyes have warranted this treatment yet.

Prognosis or Current State of Vision
With contact lenses I test between 20/30 and 20/40. I get a lot of blurriness and I have lots of floaters that make it difficult to see street sign letter, etc.

Family History
Both of my parents have some nearsightedness, but neither they nor my grandparents have any history of myopic degeneration. I am told that both my parents probably have a recessive gene for it.

Impact on My Life
Right now the main impact is that I do not drive on highways at night and I find that I can only do so much reading at one sitting. The impact has been more psychological/spiritual in that I am just now beginning to face what the future might hold. As one who has loved to read, write and study it is a sobering prospect. Yet I am also so grateful for the sight I have had up until this point and I am encouraged to hear about all the low vision devices that exist.

Positive Effects
Sight is an extraordinary spiritual metaphor. Many of the greatest mystics who "saw" deep things in the spiritual realm lost various degrees of their physical sight. My faith in the prospect of being able to see at another level has deepened as I have begun to face the possibilities of future sight loss. The bottom line is that whether I like it or not, I must take things one day at a time. Some days I get scared and sad, others I am content with whatever comes. Right now, I am delighted to find the MD Community and would like to find out as much info as possbile on the treatment of myopic degeneration, find the best medical centers doing research on it, and hear stories of what other people are going through.

Adaptations
Mainly the driving at night on highways and reading for shorter periods of time. Also I am beginning to consider how this will affect my career, how to plan for retirement, disability benefits, SSI etc. Need much more info on this and would be glad to hear what others have discovered as they have considered this.

Working
I am a Christian minister at a local church and I can do everything I am called upon to do.

More About Me
I love going on walks in nature, and I am blessed to be so close to amazing ocean views, giant Redwoods, etc. I am beginning to pick up the hobby of painting with acrylics. I like bright colors and find that painting (abstractly) :) is something that does not strain my eyes.