Early Symptoms of Dry Macular Degeneration

October 31, 2009

Dry macular degeneration usually develops gradually and painlessly. You may notice these vision changes:

  • The need for increasingly bright light when reading or doing close work
  • Increasing difficulty adapting to low light levels, such as when entering a dimly lit restaurant
  • Increasing blurriness of printed words
  • A decrease in the intensity or brightness of colors
  • Difficulty recognizing faces
  • Distortion of horizontal or verical lines. Check this with an Amsler grid.
  • Gradual increase in the haziness of your overall vision
  • Blurred or blind spot in the center of your visual field combined with a profound drop in the sharpness (acuity) of your central vision

Your vision may falter in one eye while the other eye remains fine for years. You may not notice any or much change because your good eye compensates for the weak one. Your vision and lifestyle begin to be dramatically affected when this condition develops in both eyes.

If you notice any of these symptoms, get a retinal check-up with your ophthalologist. If positive, see a low vision specialist as listed under Local Services above.



Device Combats Macular Degeneration

October 31, 2009

Prismatic Eyeglasses treat Macular Degeneration (AMD). Cost: $3,000.

Shifts focus to undamaged part of retina.



AMD Glasses

Treating Macular Degeneration

October 31, 2009

Video of ophthalmologist discussing treatment of Macular Degeneration (AMD)


Treating AMD

“Money Talks” Money Identifier for the Blind

October 29, 2009


Device costs $99. Announces Denominations of US Paper Currency

Money Talks 1Money Talks 2

  • Helps the visually impaired identify US currency
  • Announces denominations of $1.00 to $100.00
  • Battery-saving “Auto Shut-Off” after 3 minutes
  • Earphones included for privacy
  • Uses 3 AAA batteries (included)


AMD Patients May Benefit from Cataract Surgery

October 29, 2009

Cataract surgery improved vision in patients with any stage – from mild to advanced – AMD in the first study to include an adequate number of advanced AMD patients. Data was obtained from the multicenter, prospective Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), which was organized primarily to evaluate the effects of high-dose vitamin and mineral supplements on cataract and AMD. As the American population ages AMD prevalence is expected to rise, and many patients will concurrently develop cataract; both diseases can cause blindness if untreated.

“Earlier epidemiology had suggested cataract surgery might worsen AMD, so the data from the AREDS cohort study were evaluated to answer this important question,” said Emily Y. Chew, MD, who led the study for NEI.

The cohort, comprising 1,939 eyes (1,244 patients) with various stages of AMD, was evaluated for visual acuity (sharpness) after cataract surgery. On average, patients with AMD, ranging from mild to advanced, gained visual acuity after cataract surgery; the best gains were in patients with vision worse than20/40 before surgery. No difference in improvement was noted between patients with “wet” (neovascular) or “dry” (central geographic atrophy) AMD. About one year later vision gains remained statistically significant in the 865 eyes available for follow-up. Results for the primary focus of AREDS, regarding the effect of nutritional supplements, showed that high doses of vitamins C, E and beta-carotene did not affect the development or progression of cataract, but this vitamin combination plus zinc did reduce the risk of progression to advanced AMD by 25 percent in the five years of the study.

Tinted Cataract Lens Implants may reduce AMD

October 29, 2009

Results of an important new study show that implantation of blue light-filtering intraocular lens (IOLs) at the time of cataract surgery increases a nutritional component of the eye, which may afford protection against the development and/or progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The study, conducted by leading ophthalmology and vision researchers from the Macular Pigment Research Group at the Waterford Institute of Technology, is published in the October 2009 issue of the high impact journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS)

“Blue light-filtering lenses filter and block damaging blue light from reaching the retina, which holds the potential of reducing vision loss and improving the quality of life for millions of older patients,” said the study’s chief investigator, John M. Nolan, Fulbright Scholar, BSc, PhD, deputy director, Macular Pigment Research Group, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland.



Retinitis Pigmentosa Message Board

October 26, 2009

The Health Resources website has a message board dedicated to Retinitis Pigmentosa, giving the general informatin, the latest medical developments and sharing inspirational stories.