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Macula Degeneration: The Blindness You Can Prevent

Updated on July 15, 2012

Keep Your Eyes Healthy and Working: Stop Macular Degeneration

I go for yearly eye checkups and no one has ever suggested I get tested for Macular Degeneration. I have asked for the simple test and gotten it, but learned that while insurance companies pay for other tests, they don't pay for this one. Here is my story about why this is wrong.

I have three loved ones who suffered from this. My uncle, who died blind, my aunt who is just starting to get treatment and my Dad who had never heard of it, until at 83 he was lucky enough to have a doctor who tested him. He's 91 now and still struggling, but we are grateful for the care he has. However had he been tested earlier he would be better.

This lens will tell you what macular degeneration is, how to prevent it and what you can do to keep it from getting worse.

This Lens of The Day May Save Someone's Sight!

April 5, 2011

I have hoped that this would be Lens of the Day for a while now, and someone nominated it; it was chosen.

I am proud of this lens and appreciate the accolade, but more importantly, the publicity from the LOTD will ensure that more people read this lens and one of them, or someone they know, may be able to save their sight because of the information here.

I humbly thank everyone who had a part in this LOTD

Three Stories About Macular Degeneration

My uncle died at 93, both deaf and blind. The deafness was probably excellerated by damage from years as a railroad man. The blindness came from Macular Degeneration, a disease that strikes over 300,000 people every year, and is a growing cause of blindness.

My Dad was diagnosed with both kinds, wet and dry, one in each eye, 8 years ago. It was almost an accident that he went to the doctor he did for glasses. He happened to go to one who knew something about it and diagnosed him. That doctor sent him to an expert who has watched Dad's eyes like a hawk, so to speak. Dad has a lot of problems with his eyes, has to go for frequent treatments, but he can see; at 91 with MD in both eyes, he can still see.

Uncle Orval was Mom's brother. His wife, Aunt Elaine and my Dad are the only two left. She is in Iowa and he is in North Carolina, but they talk a lot on the phone.

One day he was very worried about her. She was told she might have Macular Degeneration, but hadn't scheduled and appointment. She didn't think it was a big deal. She is a lovely person, but that tends to be her reaction and even though her husband went blind, Dad couldn't convince her. Now, Dad is not the kind of guy to tell people what to do, so he probably didn't push, but he was worried.

I got on the phone to my cousin and explained what medical treatment had done for Dad. My cousins didn't know anything about it. She has since been to the doctor's. Hopefully one as good as Dad's.

Three stories, all different; two with happier endings. Thinking of my friendly, gregarious uncle as deaf and blind is not a happy thing.

Please get yourself tested.

Fritz Arrowsmith Talks About His Macular Degeneration, Treatment and Helpful Aids

Fritz Arrowsmith, 91, my dad, has been dealing with AMD for 8 years. He had not heard of the disease, but was lucky to go to an optimitrist who recognized it and sent him on. He has some very important information to share.

The Human Eye

The Human Eye
The Human Eye

What Is Macular Degeneration?

AMD Strikes Blue Eyes More Than Brown

This is a disease which results in loss of vision in center of the visual field due to damage to the retina. It usually strikes older adults.

"The inner layer of the eye is the retina, which contains nerves that communicate sight, and behind the retina is the choroid, which contains the blood supply to the retina.

In the dry (nonexudative) form, cellular debris called drusen accumulate between the retina and the choroid, and the retina can become detached. In the wet (exudative) form, which is more severe, blood vessels grow up from the choroid behind the retina, and the retina can also become detached. It can be treated with laser coagulation, and with medication that stops and sometimes reverses the growth of blood vessels".

Dry Macular Degeneration

Dry Macular Degeneration
Dry Macular Degeneration

Testing Can Save You From Blindness Through Macular Degeneration

Have You Ever Been Tested for Macula Degeneration?

See results

Wet Macular Degeneration

Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet Macular Degeneration

Five High Risk Issues for Macular Degeneration

1. Age - the risk increases with age

2. Cigarette smoking

3. A family history of macular degeneration

4. Excessive exposure to sunlight

5. High blood pressure and/or cardiovascular disease

And What To Do About Macular Degeneration Risks

Well you can't do anything about your age or your genetic history, but you can insist on Macular testing each and every time you go to the eye doctor for glaucoma testing. Heck, you can do that even if you don't have a family history.

Dad, aunt and uncle were of a generation that didn't wear sunglasses. However, the sun wasn't as harsh then as now. Don't go out without sunglasses!

If you smoke, stop. You know a million other reasons, but you if think it won't kill you, think of living to a blind old age.

A doctor once told me that Macular Degeneration came from the same things that caused people to need heart bi-passes. Makes sense since we have learned that the blood vessels are what affect the middle vision and can make that area stop working. Doing what is good for your blood vessels will also help your eyes. Thus you can take care of your eyes with good nutrition and exercise, just like your heart.

Normal Vision from National Eye Institute

Normal Vision from National Eye Institute
Normal Vision from National Eye Institute

With Macular Degeneration NEI

With Macular Degeneration  NEI
With Macular Degeneration NEI

I Just Saw the Scariest Picture About Macular Degeneration!

Must Take Action!

1. I am going to call the doctor and get tested!

2. Oh, and call an EFT expert to help me quit smoking.

3. And finally look into that heart healthy, now also eye healthy eating plan!

4. Oh, and find my sunglasses and wear them!


Still Not Movitated to Get Tested This WeeK? Come On, Its Easier Than Glaucoma Testing, Just Do It!

Still Not Movitated to Get Tested This WeeK? Come On, Its Easier Than Glaucoma Testing, Just Do It!
Still Not Movitated to Get Tested This WeeK? Come On, Its Easier Than Glaucoma Testing, Just Do It!

Did You Know These Things?

I Do What I Have to Do to Prevent This Disease

See results

Macular Degeneration Can Be Prevented; It Can Be Slowed---IT CAN'T BE REVERSED---GET TESTED NOW!

Macular Degeneration  Can Be Prevented; It Can Be Slowed---IT CAN'T BE REVERSED---GET TESTED NOW!
Macular Degeneration Can Be Prevented; It Can Be Slowed---IT CAN'T BE REVERSED---GET TESTED NOW!

Any Purchase Here Will Contribute to Heifer International: The Pay It Forward Entrepreneurial Charity

Important Books About Macular Degeneration To Read

Some of them are for the patient, some for the family, some for prevention. This is something that can be preventing or treated. As of today it cannot be cured.

Help Reading and TV

Videos About AMD

I would love to hear your comments on the lens, stars appreciated!

Your Thoughts About Macular Degeneration Are Always Welcome

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    • BigRedDomino profile image


      5 years ago

      My eyes have been acting funny for a few months and this lens helped me pull the trigger on calling to get it checked out. Thanks for the push!Can't grow another pair of eyes.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @chezchazz: Thanks so much

    • chezchazz profile image


      5 years ago from New York

      Exceptional lens about a serious issue too many people ignore. Posted to my social media and sprinkled with angel dust in the hopes that more people will take your message to heart. (Also featured on Still Wing-ing it on Squidoo.) thank you for sharing this most important info.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Returning with angel dust for this excellent and very personal article on macular degeneration by you.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Came back to bless this lens.

    • eccles1 profile image


      6 years ago

      I can't believe I missed this great one glad I came back for a visit

      thank you

    • JJNW profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      ***blessed by a SquidAngel*** for original content, thinking of others, and being overall awesome-tastic!

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 

      6 years ago from Ireland

      This is an amazing lens, and not surprised you got LoTD with it. Forewarned is forearmed, thank you kindly.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      My mum has had this disease for many years. It is a disabilitating disease for sure. Mum has never eaten margarine in her life so there must be more than what you eat that causes it. The specialists always stressed the wearing of sunglasses while outside .. even while gardening. After many years of NOT wearing sunglasses, I am now getting used to it.

      A worthwhile lens!

    • JanTUB profile image

      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 

      7 years ago from Australia

      My mother is clinically blind from MD. She was an artisan, had an amazing garden, and now can only see when the sun is very, very bright. I heard polyunsaturated fats (margarine) are one of the main causes?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very educational lens! I've heard of Macular Degeneration before, but I never really knew what it was. Now I do, and further more, I'm going to get tested for it at my next eye exam. Thanks for taking the time to create this very informative lens.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      My sister in law just told me about this last summer as there is fear that she might have it. Thanks for these info.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 

      7 years ago

      I just have to tell you that I went back and viewed all three videos you made with your precious father. They touched my heart and taught me so much more. (He reminded me so much of my dad, whom I lost two years ago.) Bless you for taking such wonderful care of the two people who gave you life and cared for YOU!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      My sister in law just told me about this last summer as there is fear that she might have it. Thanks for these info.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 

      7 years ago

      Thank you so much for helping to educate all of us on such an important subject! You are performing a valuable service, and I know you have helped save the sight of many. Thank you again!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I appreciated this lens. It helped me see how mum sees.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My doctor always suggests the test, but I have to pay out of pocket for it.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      7 years ago from United States

      This is very frightening. We have to go through so many tests for our health, I simply can not understand why insurance would not cover this test and why everyone wouldn't be told to have it done. Wait, maybe I do know the insurance question. I believe you said it is related to age. Sadly, the older we get, the more the need and the less assistance we get. I am glad that your dad was wise enough to be tested.

    • bikerministry profile image


      7 years ago

      My Mom has this disease and I get tested regularly. Thanks for the info.

    • Snakesmom profile image


      7 years ago

      What a great informative lens, thanks for doing your part to stop Macular Degeneration.

    • Bella Stella profile image

      Bella Stella 

      7 years ago

      Thank you for posting such an informative lens. Most of the people have never heard of that disease even though it seems to be very common.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      7 years ago from Ljubljana

      Hello, very informative lens. I did an article on lutein several months ago, but it was not so graphic explicit like yours. Just let me add one more point. Macular degeneration can be prevented in most cases with lutein rich foods (mostly vegetables like tomatoes and spinach - Popaye does not wear glasses, righ?), supplements are especially beneficial for older people with slower metabolism. Congratulations and best regards from Ljubljana!

    • jvsper63 profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a really good lens, there might save someone's sight, never know who might get checked out because of this..Great job!!!!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 

      7 years ago

      I have heard about macular degeneration but never knew much about it. Thanks for sharing this lens.

    • CarolynPile profile image


      7 years ago

      I lensrolled this to my five caregiving lenses. :D

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Scary stuff. Congrats on the lens of the day and congrats on an excellent lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank for bringing this to my attention.. Never even knew about it until now. Thanks!

    • cdevries profile image


      7 years ago

      My mother has it. She's always been a great reader, but now has to use books on tape. And my father-in-law has it.

    • CastleRoyLisa profile image


      7 years ago from Rhode Island

      my moms entire family suffers from it my aunt still alive has it it is awful disease my grandmother died blind and my mom also died. to bad no cures yet yes good diet not smoking and check ups. they have found the gene but still not much we can do. still praying lens roll to my Macular Degeneration, lens i hope people interested will stop by it is important.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I was here not too long ago to bless this informative lens on an important topic and it's great to see it awarded LotD...congrats!

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 

      7 years ago from London

      Well done on Lens of the Day - this is an excellent lens. I get glaucoma tested every year and I'll be sure to ask about MD as well next time I go.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for bringing this to our attention.. although I am not in the age range to get it, I'm no spring chicken either.. and since my mother suffers from it (not my biological mother, though)... I am glad to know more about it!

    • norma-holt profile image


      7 years ago

      Yipee, so glad to see this worthy lens with the award. Congratulations and it is now blessed and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust and also on Squidoo LOTD Lenses.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations of the LOTD. Very well deserved. An excellent lens, as always.

    • writerkath profile image


      7 years ago

      Good stuff here, Margo! And it's an important topic. Congratulations on your LOTD honors! Well deserved!


      Kath :)

    • Amy Fricano profile image

      Amy Fricano 

      7 years ago from WNY

      Congratulation. Excellent information. Thank goodness opthamologist is on top of this.

    • justholidays profile image


      7 years ago

      Very interesting read, more particularly because I went to the ophthalmologist three months ago and that she didn't even asked me if I wanted to be tested for whatever... she even didn't want to test my eyes although I wear glasses for 40 years!

      Hm... having read this page about macular degeneration, I KNOW that I must go to another doctor and take measures in order to not suffer from such a horrible disease!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you so much for making this lens. It's so odd that this got picked for lens of the day when it did because my grandfather was just diagnosed with this early march and I wasn't sure what it was. 3 out of my 4 grandparents ended up with this in their lifetimes, and I fear for my parents and ultimately myself as we get older. Thank you for the tips, I will have to send this to a lot of people!

    • Ellen Mitchell profile image

      Ellen Mitchell 

      7 years ago

      Excellent, informative lens. I learned some new things--thanks for sharing.

    • inspireume profile image


      7 years ago

      I am 64 and so far have been lucky. You've reminded me to do something I should have taken care of before now. Thanks!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for all the great info. My Dad and Grandmother had Macular Degeneration and I know I need to get tested regularly. BTW: Then insurance company did pay for my Macular Degeneration tests because the doctor submitted the paperwork as me being someone at risk for Macular Degeneration based on family history. So be sure to ask.

    • patriciapeppy profile image


      7 years ago

      I have a friend who has this condition. So it good to learn more about it.

    • LikinTrikin LM profile image

      LikinTrikin LM 

      7 years ago

      Congratulations on your lens being LOTD. It's a very informative lens. My father suffered from this terrible disease and unfortunately for him it was detected way too late. I have learned so much from his experiences and do get checked for it once a year. I do try to spread the word about it also. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • tailortoo profile image


      7 years ago

      An important subject that I have been learning about too, since my husband now has macular degeneration and is trying to slow down its progression.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      An excellent and informative lens, a wake up call for all of us to get tested. Well deserving the LOTD endorsement.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      7 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD Margo! Glad the subject of macular degeneration has a spotlight on it.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 

      7 years ago

      Personally I cannot think of any thing worse than to lose your sight. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • Sharlee01 profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a great lens. It will work to make people more aware of Macular degeneration, and all around better eye care... Nice work ! Shar

    • mazbond profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this information. I am sure not many people know about Macular Degeneration and that we should all be tested for it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Fantastic lens. I intend to get tested for this when I go to the eye doctor in a few days. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      7 years ago from Templeton, CA

      This is a disease I have always feared. My first Cousin Three Times Removed had this toward the end of her long life. She was my dad's mother's first cousin. My mom lived until 89 but never had it. My dad and both grandparents died before they got any older than 70, so I'll never know if they would have had it. I do have a couple of risk factors, such as high blood pressure and blue eyes. I will have to be much more careful about my diet and remember to ask for the test whenever my eyes are tested. Maybe I'll even call and see if I have been receiving that test every time I go in. Thanks for writing this warning.

    • CruiseReady profile image


      7 years ago from East Central Florida

      I so appreciate seeing a lens like this that really educates on a topic like that one that doesn't normally get enough attention. Thank you.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What a great lens! I can say that I have blue eyes and will be getting checked asap!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Margo, congratulations on the LOTD, I have heard of this but don't give it much thought...having a husband with diabetes, cardiac problems etc., this was helpful to me. Nice of your Father to be a part, personalized it so nicely. God bless!

    • Carmel Aaron profile image

      Carmel Aaron 

      7 years ago

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention before it is too late. Great material.

      Thumbs up.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Important and informative lens, congrats on LOTD!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Congratulations on your well deserved LOTD!

    • ruthsonja profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice lense, I have a few friends who suffer from the, so I have an interest in this topic, and also often blog about it. Awareness, and visiting your eye professional is the best place to start defending yourself....

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 

      7 years ago from California

      Excellent lens. Well thought out and designed. I'm not sure if my eye doctor tests me for Macular Degeneration of not. I am definitely going to find out today! Thanks for sharing. Bear hugs, Frankie

    • bjslapidary profile image


      7 years ago

      Congrats on your LOTD. It is very good. Lots of good info here to think about.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Thank you for this informative lens. I am lensrolling it to my cataract lens.

    • modz profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD!

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 

      7 years ago

      Great lens, lots of info I had no idea about. Congratulations on your feature, Margo. Well deserved and needed.

    • Protasker profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Congrats on LOD! This is a fantastic lens and very well done. My Mother has this already, she's 80. It's amazing to finally understand what she's talking about. Thanks!

    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 

      7 years ago

      Great lens Margo--so much good information that is vital to all of us as we are aging. My next eye test in June I will be sure to be tested.

      Thanks for coming by my Natural Health lens. I'm learning more and more about coconut oil.

      I tweeted this lens and will do again later today.

    • hlkljgk profile image


      7 years ago from Western Mass

      thanks for the heads up and sharing your stories.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Some good information here. Getting macular degeneration treatment is definitely a good idea.

    • myneverboredhands profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens... What can be more important than our own or our loved ones health? Easier to prevent illness than to deal with it... Well done. Congrats on LOTD.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations on your LOTD. Great article. Everyone needs to follow your advice and get tested.

    • sousababy profile image


      7 years ago

      I adore your use of video (of your father) Margo. You have made a scary diagnosis more easily understood and given us many ways to prevent, understand and deal with macular degeneration. It is certainly on the rise, right up there with diabetic retinopathy. (Such a rise in diabetes too, in our population). I am so glad you received LoTD, this lens must be shared with anyone facing AMD (or loved ones of those who have the condition). Congrats once again. Fondly, Rose

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the excellent info Margo! My Mom and suffers from this also. She has had high blood pressure for many years.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is such an informative lens, prevention always plays an important role in tackling diseases.

      Congrats on LOTD.

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 

      7 years ago

      This is a very informative lens and I will take steps to improve my ocular health. See you around the galaxy...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great to know! Glad you got lens of the day! Hopefully someones eyesight was saved through this.

    • Addy Bell profile image

      Addy Bell 

      7 years ago

      This is important stuff. Congrats on LotD -- I'm sure you've saved someone's sight!

    • Retro Loco profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on LOTD and thank you for the excellent information on macular degeneration. Three of my grandparents had this horrible eye disease, and I haven't had my eyes checked in a long time. I think it is time for me to make that ophthalmologist appointment! Thank you so much for the reminder!! ~Vicki~

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens.Congrats

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      A very topical lens. We see adverts on tv all the time warning about macular degeneration but the optometrist has never once mentioned doing a test for it when I have my eyes checked. Next time I go I will definitely ask about it.

    • GonnaFly profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for this great information. I often forget my sunglasses so this lens should be motivation to remember!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing such valuable info.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have my eyes checked every year, but I've never asked if they test for MD. I will now. Thanks Margo - I'm sure someone, could even be me, benefit from this article.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      We take to mush for granted and fail to act preventative

      thank you for sharing

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD!

    • elyria profile image


      7 years ago

      I've never been tested for MD but will do it now. Very informative, helpful Lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great informational lens Margo. Congratulations on LOTD and your purple star.

    • Commandrix profile image


      7 years ago from Benson, IL

      Thanks for the educational Lens and congrats on LOTD. I never thought much about macular degeneration but now I think I'll ask for testing next time I see the eye doctor. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations on the LOTD. This is a great lens to share with everyone.

    • mmkellis profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent information! It's amazing how many diseases can be easily prevented.

    • priscillab profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you! This should be lens of the day- well deserved for sharing some important information.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wonderful lens with lot of good info. Congrats on LOTD!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Sadly my daughter who was born blind passed away a few years ago...Thanks for a very good lens congrats on it becoming a LOTD

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Interest eye care/heart care parallel. Great information; thank you for sharing. Congratulations on LOTD and your Purple Star!

    • mich1908 profile image


      7 years ago

      I am glad this is a LOTD because I've never heard of this condition before. Even though I wear specs but I never got myself tested. Though I always takes my younger son who has JIA for routine checks. Congrats and thanks.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent LOTD, and a fine public service raising awareness of MD!

    • kathysart profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you for all the great info.. Such a well thought out lens.. congrats on lens of the day too!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      7 years ago from Vermont

      I get tested for MD as well as glaucoma and cataracts every two years. I'm very nearsighted and understand the value of vision care! This test should be standard and covered by insurance yes, but doctors should also offer the test regardless of whether one has coverage or not. Congrats on LOTD and I see a Purple Star on this lens, yippee!

    • profile image

      Pete Schultz 

      7 years ago

      congrats on lotd, I learned some new things reading your optomotrist routinely recommends all tests, which is a good thing, a local woman was able to start ttreatment on serious medical issues uncovered through an eye exam.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Inormative lens

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations for your LOTD for this very important work.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      Congrats on LOTD and your Purple Star!


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