The Impact of Macular Degeneration
Many people with severe macular degeneration stop driving, reading or participating in daily activities. Depression appears to be more common in people with macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is not painful or fatal. Still, since there is no cure, and because the result can be a loss of independence, many people who get it are emotionally upset.

Only her closest relatives knew about her condition. She avoided telling her friends and neighbors. Mrs. Cox feared being marginalized for her disability. Like many older people, she was afraid of losing her ability to care for herself. In addition, she cared for a number of neighbors who were unable to drive. If she lost the sight in her right eye, she feared losing her ability to care for others.

Fortunately, Mrs. Cox remains philosophical about her situation. “It’s been really scary. But I’m still okay, because I have one good eye. I can read a little, garden, pay my bills and go to the grocery.” Mrs. Cox learned to make up for her disability. Among other changes, she:

subscribes to large print magazines and uses a magnifying glass for other written material
uses peripheral vision for some tasks
relies on her good eye for driving and for close-up work like threading a needle
Mrs. Cox’s case is fairly typical of severe macular degeneration. Macular degeneration can be frightening and confusing. However, there are treatments that can help. Contact your doctor if you have one of the following symptoms:

blurry central vision
a white or dark blot in your field of view
seeing straight lines that look bent or wavy
Most people wait until macular degeneration has progressed before going to the doctor. By catching it early, you have a chance of saving your eyesight.

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