Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Maintaining Eyesight

About 2 1/2 years ago I was diagnosed with wet AMD--Age-related Macular Degeneration. At the time that I was diagnosed, I was legally blind in my right eye. (My left eye is normal). Fortunately, there is a medication that they can inject in the eye to slow the progress of this disease, and sometimes it improves vision. In my case, it improved my vision initially, from 20/200 to 20/50. However, for about the last year I've had to get an injection every 4-5 weeks to maintain that level of vision.

Today, I had another procedure done, called Photodynamic Therapy. This used to be the only option available, before they found that Avastin and/or Lucentis would help this condition. My Doctor felt that by having this procedure today, it would seal off the blood vessel at the retina and then I won't have to have injections every month; I might possibly need an injection once or twice a year.

The procedure itself isn't painful. I had some tests to check my vision, and then they inject a dye which targets the abnormal vessel. They then shine a laser on that part of the eye and this process seals the blood vessel, keeping it from leaking into the eye.

The dye, however makes your skin extremely photo-sensitive. They told me I would need a hat, sunglasses and gloves (and long sleeves) when leaving the office, to prevent sunburn. My good friend, Rebecca, had taken me for this procedure, and also loaned me the beautiful hat! Thus, leaving the office I was decked out in my movie star outfit!

It was a cloudy day, so possibly this was overkill. But the nurse had told me a couple horror stories of people who got sunburns, and said that even on a cloudy day I should cover up. It will take 4-5 days for this dye, and consequently the photo-sensitivity to get out of my system.

As you might have guessed, I plan to lay low, read, scrapbook, maybe even put together the puzzle on my dining room table (although I'm finding I'm not a very good puzzle person, so I might have to give that up).

I am very thankful that these procedures are available. I am still able to read and do all of the things I enjoy doing, so this has been a real blessing.


Bernie said...

You look lovely, a real class act.
I am not a fan of puzzles but I am sure you can pass the time with good books and blogging.
So happy for you that they can help you keep the sight, many blessings to you.....:-) Hugs

Wanda said...

Red is your color Donna...better that way than a sunburn. Glad the procedure will lessen the need for the injections. Use the time to relax and be nice to yourself.
Take care...

Brenda said...

Yay! I am so glad that is over! I hope that it works for you. It is such a blessing that your other eye is okay. Praise God!

Rebecca said...

I'm glad you mentioned the puzzle. Don't put it away just yet. If I can complete my project tomorrow, I might call and see what your schedule is and come over and try to put a piece or two in!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well, I think you make quite a stunning fashion statement in your red! How I hope and pray this therapy will give you some much needed relief and an improvement in your vision. We take a great many things for granted, do we not? Take it easy on the eyes and rest.

Thanks for checking in with me.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...
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