“I am a 25-year marketing veteran. After working in TV, radio, out-of-home media, direct mail and public relations, I decided to open my own boutique adverting agency to better serve the small business community. While my business was growing, I started noticing that my vision was not exactly right. Something was off. I went to an Optician to have my vision checked, but was told my vision was fine. Several months after that, whatever was wrong, was getting worse. I went to another Optician and was told the same thing; my vision was fine. This time, I said no, something is not right with my vision. It was then that the doctor had me take the Amsler Grid Test. And yes, there was something wrong, the doctor suspected Macular Degeneration.
The Optician referred me to a Retina doctor. After a series of tests, he concluded that I did have dry Macular Degeneration. There was no known cure or treatment. I would slowly lose my central vision or my ability to see things directly. This meant that I would no longer be able to read a newspaper, watch TV, drive, or successfully run my adverting agency. I’ve had a lot of health issues all my life, but this was the first time I cried because of one. And yes, I was depressed.
I closed my business and applied for Disability, which meant I would no longer be able to control my income. I just kind of took each day as it came. Then, my mother saw an advertisement in her local newspaper about Dr. Huggett, a low vision specialist, and how he could help those with low vision. I called him for a phone consultation, then I went to see him. After some testing, he told me all is not lost. He could help me see the things I wanted to see by enhancing the vision I had left. Dr. Huggett gave me hope.
Dr. Huggett recommended that I get a pair of Bioptic glasses. These would enable me to do many of the things I thought I’d have to give up. And what a difference! Using my Bioptic glasses and many of the vision enhancing tools available for low vision, I was able to go back to doing advertising, but out of a home office. Also, I do not smoke and I’ve been taking the AREDS 2 eye vitamins ever since I was diagnosed with AMD. I attribute that to the slow degeneration of my vision. Last, I’ve trained myself to use my peripheral vision to look at things and sometimes it’s almost like I don’t have Macular Degeneration.
When Dr. Huggett was looking for someone to help him with his marketing and website, he didn’t have to look any farther than to one of his own patients, someone who understood what it was like to have low vision themselves.
I know it is scary to realize you are losing your vision, but there really is hope out there. You just need to see a low vision doctor. I am proof.