It’s Astoundingly Defeating

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I recently came across an interesting article in JAMA in which a physician/surgeon described his personal experience with macular degeneration.

“It was during the summer about 3 years ago. I became aware while I was driving, of a subtle change in the shape of billboards. The upper right hand corner of the billboard appeared to e sagging. And then I noticed that if I looked at a page, the upper right hand corner of the page would sag. And I thought this was most unusual.

“The vision, changed in spurts. It wasn’t a subtle progression at all. I kept going in to have my prescription changed. I must have gone through two dozen pairs of glasses in the last 3 years.

“The issue that bothers me most is that I can no longer work as a surgeon, I can no longer operate. Losing depth perception has been the most significant thing. It’s been absolutely devastating. My eye-hand coordination was my life. In the operating room, I can’t demonstrate a procedure. It’s astoundingly defeating.

“I would like to know what else I can do to protect the vision in that eye and I’d like to do everything I can so that I can read with greater ease. Because not being able to read, not being able to write, not able to drive, and not being able to function with fluidity is a terrible handicap.”

In macular degeneration, the light-sensing cells of the macula mysteriously malfunction and may over time cease to work. Macular degeneration occurs most often in people over 60 years old, in which case it is called Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD). Tomorrow we’ll take a look at what alternative medicine has to offer in treating this disease.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD