Patient stories
Michelle, USA

My name is Michelle and I’ve always been extremely nearsighted. I was the little kid with the coke bottle glasses. I couldn’t see a thing without glasses unless it was right up close to my eyes and would get dizzy headaches from the distortion. At 16 I started wearing contacts so at least didn’t have to constantly wear the ugly thick glasses.

When I was about 35 I began to see some waviness. The telephone poles were wavy and not straight. It was then that I was diagnosed with Myopic Macular Degeneration (MMD). I had a bleed which was stopped by a laser at that time which left a permanent blind spot in the center of my left eye. I was given the Amsler grid and told to check it regularly but other than that there was no cure or nothing I could do to stop it from progressing because I was told it was how my eyes were shaped and pulled so thin. I was able to get used to it and went about with a normal life dealing with low vision and trying not to let anyone know. I had many occasional visits to the retina specialist to keep an eye on things but basically went back when I noticed any changes. Sometimes there would be a bleed but other times it was just the progression of the atrophy getting worse.

As years went on I had more and more trouble driving at night, and finally had to stop before I harmed myself or someone else.

When I was about 50, I had cataract surgery and it was amazing how well I could see after that. I no longer needed my contacts or glasses. I was in heaven. Eventually, I needed glasses again since my eyesight gradually changed with age.

A few months ago I noticed more distortion and major color changes in my right eye (my better eye). Long story short, I have progressed to Geographic Atrophy in both eyes and have been diagnosed as legally blind. My husband is retired and I planned to retire later this year so that we could enjoy our retirement years together. We love to golf and enjoy warmer beach areas in the winter. Now I can no longer drive and no longer enjoy the beautiful colored beaches and surroundings just at the time in my life when I can finally retire and enjoy a more stress-free life.

Please do more research to find a cure for this horrible eyesight disorder.