Preventing Depression in Macular Degeneration Patients

December 24, 2012

Upon being diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, it is perfectly normal for some people to go through a period of mild depression as they begin to grieve their loss and adjust their lives. One study showed that AMD sufferers are nearly three times more at risk of depression than the general population.

Consider this list of symptoms that could call for treatment:

Withdrawing socially

Fatigue or loss of energy


Weight gain/loss

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Genes Not Very Helpful in Predicting Age-Related Macular Degeneration

December 11, 2012

Although there have been studies that take a look at genetic and environmental risk factors for AMD and how they relate, the relationship between these factors had not previously been extensively studied in patients over a long period of time.

The findings of a study by  Dr. Ronald Klein, M.D., M.P.H. of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine showed that genetic risk factors were not very helpful in terms of predicting the progression and incidence of the disease. Instead, what turned out to be more helpful were actual ophthalmological examinations once early signs of AMD occurred.

“Once the early signs are there, just looking at them ophthalmoscopically will help you estimate development of late AMD much better than the genes themselves. So while the genes are important in terms of understanding causes of the disease, in terms of individual risk assessment, they have less importance at this point in time.”

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The Progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

December 11, 2012

The article cited below clearly describes the various stages of Dry and Wet Macular Degeneration.

The following is an idea of how the different stages of AMD can potentially progress:


.    Early Stage Dry AMD

.    Intermediate Stage Dry AMD

.    Late Stage Dry AMD Also called “Geographic Atrophy”


.     Predominantly classic

.    Occult

.    Minimally classic

Understanding and treating AMD of any form is important. Early supplementation and health conscientiousness are your greatest defenses against the degenerative disease. You can slow down AMD’s progression.

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NC Assistive Tech Conference

December 10, 2012

A few days ago, Lauren and John attended the NC AT Conference in Raleigh. It was a great opportunity to see and handle the latest advances in assistives. They had the DaVinci HD CCTV with OCR and the Pebble-Mini by Enhanced Vision, the SmartView Synergy video magnifier with advanced control and the SmartView 360 by Humanware, the E-Board ergonomic workstation by Widget Works, the Eye-Pal Vision book reader by ABiSee, ZoomText magnifying software by AI Squared, the Guide Handsfree by Dolphin  and much more. Being able to use these products is enormously encouraging that assistives help all who have low vision.

But even more beneficial was meeting the people who have devoted their lives to helping those learning to cope with low vision. We met with Bob Cook of Carolina Low Vision, Jack Mitchell of Indigo Logix, David Waggener of Humanware, Edna Beard of Quintex, Claire Haiken, a Mobility Specialist, and Lynne Deese of the NC ATP who helped organize this conference. These are the wonderful people who help us maintain our sense of hope dealing with low vision.

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New Device for Macular Degeneration Testing

December 3, 2012

MPS IIElektron Technology is launching a new, easy-to-use macular pigment screener (MPS II) that can quickly identify those most at risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
AMD is the loss of vision in the centre of the eye and is caused by high-energy, blue light from the sun damaging the retinal protective shield, or macula, over time. The MPS II measures the density of the yellow pigment within the macula that has an important role in absorbing the blue light.

The macula is the small area at the centre of the retina responsible for central vision. Its role is to filter out harmful blue light before it hits the sensitive rods and cones on the retina. As a person gets older the risk of AMD increases, particularly when coupled with poor diet, smoking and drinking. This can accelerate the onset of the disease.

The patient looks into the MPS II and when they see the blue light flashing they press a button. It is simple, unambiguous and provides a very accurate test.

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