Vision loss due to macular degeneration can be devastating. It can be very frustrating adapting to your vision loss from macular degeneration, a condition that causes you to lose your central vision. That means when you look directly at something - the lady on tv, the print in the newspaper, your tablet, a photo, or your loved one's face - you can't see it.
When you get diagnosed with diseases that cause vision loss like macular degeneration, you may feel lonely and like no one is really there to help. The ophthalmologist or eye consultant is only there to help with injections and surgical intervention. The opticians you always visited may not fully be adapted to help you as normal glasses don't make any improvements. You may feel like you are in limbo. Not helped with the eye consultant and no being helped with the optometrists at your opticians.
As someone who worked previously in the USA in a low vision clinic assisting patient with vision loss from various diseases and disorders, I understand your frustration. While I have not experienced vision loss myself, I have seen it's impact on my patients over the years. I have worked in a specialty clinic where we helped those whose normal glasses were not the answer. Sometimes it was special magnifiers, better lighting or other devices. But most importantly, I always recall my grandmother losing her vision due to wet macular degeneration - how her overall health declined after that, and how she did not want to live any longer after she lost her vision. That happened when I was in university and at a time when there were no injections to help the bleeding from macular degeneration. That gave me more purpose - to help those like my grandmother though my work as an optometrist.
Using my personal family experience and my experience with low vision patient in the past, at my independent opticians I work with my macular degeneration patients at my practice to get them a bespoke plan. I may only be able to offer advise on directing you to the proper services like Berkshire Vision for support. I may be able to help with special glasses or recommended a device or light that can help. But for everyone I offer a good listening ears and allow my patients to chat about how they feel. I have been known to give a hug to those that needed one.
Can I make your vision better even though you have macular degeneration? Maybe, maybe not. But I will try my absolute best to find you the solutions to help you adapt to the vision you DO have left and teach how to use that to the best of our ability.
Got more questions about your macular degeneration or worried about your loved one with macular degeneration?
Give us a call on 01635 528844 or book in for an eye exam on www.drvalariejerome.com
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Dr Valarie Jerome
Writing and sharing interesting topics affecting patients in their daily life, our practice news and the profession of optometry.