My name is Elizabeth, I am 58 years old and live in England.
I was born with cataracts and registered as partially sighted aged 4. After cataract surgery my vision improved to 6/12 and although I never had quite enough vision to drive, I didn’t think of myself as visually impaired growing up.
I am glad that I didn’t know anything about the potential complications of high myopia. Despite having detached retinas in each eye in my 20’s and finding out I had glaucoma in my 40’s, I had never heard of Myopic Macular Degeneration, so called MMD, until I had my first CNV bleed nine years ago.
I have been very well supported by some excellent ophthalmologists, and despite my complicated eye history, everything before that had been treatable. I was blissfully unaware for a while that this time it might no longer be ok.
I lost central vision in my left eye by the second CNV, my right eye has occasional CNVs and I was registered blind in 2015 due to the combination of peripheral loss from glaucoma and central vision loss from MMD.
The sight loss did stop my teaching career, and I now work as an education consultant. I am a busy mum of three adult daughters. I run (with a guide runner) to fundraise for eye research. As a volunteer I run a support group for working age people who are losing their sight.
The secret that I am sharing here, is that behind the smile, the fundraising and the group, I am still afraid that one day my vision will go down to zero. I understand why AMD researchers don’t want high myopes or complicated cases in their studies but the more people I hear of with Myopic Macular Degeneration, the more I wonder who is fighting in our corner.
I hope that gifted clinicians and researchers will explore stem cells and MMD as I really don’t want to spend my later years completely in the dark. Thank you.