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yes, another blog to add to the millions out there already – but why not.

have you checked your macular? February 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — panthergirl @ 10:26 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Being a slight control freak, I've always thought that the worst thing that could happen to me would be to lose my sight.

Its getting dressed that bothers me. Or rather, having Daz pick out my outfits for me. I couldn't trust him. I'd always feel I was leaving the house dressed in some strange combination of clothes. I'd have to buy every thing in black just to be safe.

And I experienced this exact thing yesterday when I went on a shopping road trip with the oldies from the hostel. I went off with a woman who was there to buy a new pair of shoes. She was diagnosed with macular degeneration twelve years ago and since then her sight has gradually deteriorated until now she is almost totally blind. I asked her what she could see and she said she can see lights above shop doors but not read what the sign says. I asked her if she could see the people about her and she said no – just shapes.

So we went into the shoe shop and I'd describe the shoes to her and she'd feel them, feel the heel, put them right up to her face. She wanted a dressy pair. So we picked out a few pairs for her to try on and she found a pair that felt nice. The we had the following conversation about 500 times throughout the day.

so they look dressy?


and they're black?


and they're the same size as my old ones?


and they're a pair?

lol – yes

and they're hush puppies?


and they're black?


But I didn't mind because I knew I'd be exactly the same. And I probably still wouldn't believe they were black.

So check your macular – it's a cruel disease, mainly because there's no cure.

This simple screening test is used to assess the macula (the center of the retina). The Amsler Grid consists of evenly spaced horizontal and vertical lines printed on black or white paper. A small dot is located in the center of the grid for fixation. While staring at the dot, the patient looks for wavy lines and missing areas of the grid. This test is especially helpful for monitoring vision at home.

The doctor is especially interested in the following when testing vision with the Amsler Grid:

Are you able to see the corners and sides of the square?

Do you see any wavy lines?

Are there any holes or missing areas?

If the lines of grid do not appear straight and parallel or there are missing areas, the doctor will examine the back of the eye (macula) very closely. This test is frequently given to patients for home use to monitor macular degeneration. When using the test at home, notify the doctor if any changes in the appearance of the Amsler Grid are detected.

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21 Responses to “have you checked your macular?”

  1. LeendaDLL Says:

    I work in the ophthalmic laser industry and EVERYONE is trying to figure out cures for (1) macular degeneration and (2) presbyopia. Whoever succeeds will be a gazillionaire.Thanks for posting.

  2. Waterbaby Says:

    yey! i seem to be — errr, see — ok. which is nice 'cause eye issues run in my family.

  3. Snowy Says:

    Scary stuff, Cat. Glad I passed, but then I have had a lens replacement, so have had numerous eye inspections over the last year. I'm told everything is healthy there.

  4. Emjay Says:

    Going blind is one of my biggest fears. I see an opthamologist every 12 months for the full eye examination – so far it's okay except for the reading glasses getting stronger every damn year!

  5. cat Says:

    I know – whats that all about! Once you get glasses you sem to need stronger ones all the time! I'm lucky to get 12 months out of them.

  6. cat Says:

    Good to hear – Dad rang a while back and told me he has glaucoma but they say he is too old for it to ever be a problem for him. But something we now have to be aware of.

  7. cat Says:

    I hope they find a cure soon – I don't know what presbyopia is – will have to research it. This lady is prefectly fine otherwise and its the only reason she has to live in the home which is a shame.

  8. cat Says:

    I'm sure I'll be staring at this for the next week imagining wavy lines all over the place.

  9. LeendaDLL Says:

    Presbyopia is normal age-related problem of near-vision getting weaker – particularly needing glasses to read. It affects almost everyone.

  10. Waterbaby Says:

    lol. and i'll be revisiting this grid every week for the next year.

  11. Gerri Atric Says:

    OK I did this, and I've had a million cocktails, and the lines all look good to me. No holes. No waves. Corners in tact. I'm a drunk with STILL no macular issues. AWESOME!

  12. cat Says:

    Good news – so go and research the sex thing while you can still see it.

  13. Candy Sparks Says:

    i love the questions… but i'm so glad you were able to help her out a lot!!! go you!!


  14. cat Says:

    It must be awful to have to trust that people are making the right choices for you – I'd hate it.

  15. MexicanRobot Says:

    whoa! I can see straight lines, a dot and no freakin' white spaces…For a moment I got pretty scared since I use eyeglasses.

  16. cat Says:

    I always imagine I see wavy lines and gaps. Well I hope I'm inagining it! Come back and check when you're 50.

  17. As you know I only have one eye and God knows I don't want to go blind, but in fact I would rather go blind than deaf.

  18. cat Says:

    That would be kind of freaky as well. I'd always be looking over my shoulder for people creeping up on me. I just hate the thought of having to rely on people to see for me. Even eating a ham and salad roll was a mission for this woman. Even ordering it. Having to have someone around to always explain and describe everything to you. Needing to have someone available to read the local paper. So many little things.

  19. Karen Lynn Says:

    My macula's are good. Thanks for the test. Now if they could just cure my near vision. You reminded me it is about time for an exam. Thank you :))

  20. cat Says:

    Once you hit 40 the near vision seems to go quickly. You know you need glasses when your arms aren't long enough to be able to read things any more.

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