If you’re connected with us on Facebook, you may already be aware that Dame Judi Dench, who stars in the latest James Bond flick “SkyFall”, suffers from Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
“I can’t read scripts anymore because of the trouble with my eyes and so somebody comes and reads them to me, like telling me a story,” the actress explains.1 Dench adds that though she’s “getting used” to coping with AMD, she still requires assistance with certain daily activities such as reading her lines and deciphering faces.
“You get used to it, very bright light helps. I can do a crossword if it’s bright sunshine, but if a cloud comes out, next minute I can’t see anything,”1 says the Oscar winner who has no plans to retire; and why should she? Though many become depressed or angry when faced with AMD and with the potential loss of independence, the truth is, there are many things that can be done to allow a person to continue to live at home and maintain a great deal of independence. Sometimes the simplest solutions can make a world of difference. If you’ve been diagnosed with AMD, take the following advice into consideration:
If you have early stage, or dry AMD, you have more time to plan and think ahead about the layout of your home and to judge its suitability.
It may be beneficial to re-arrange furniture to create clear pathways across rooms. Consider making it easy to access windows, doors, book shelves and things you use most often in each room. Additionally, simple things including wearing shoes with good traction, limiting the use of area rugs (or taping the corners down) and using nightlights will help to limit your chances of tripping or bumping into objects.
Doors can become hazardous for those with poor eyesight who can easily bump into them if they’re left wide open. Ensure that doors are kept completely shut at all times! Alternatively, if you live alone, or if privacy is not an issue, consider removing interior doors entirely.
Taking full advantage of lighting is crucial in order to make the most of your remaining vision. Sunlight and natural lighting is best. Perhaps rid of dark curtains, or install longer curtain poles to enable curtains to be pulled back far enough to have the entire window exposed during the daytime.
Products such as illuminated reading and video magnifiers, talking clocks, high contrast e-readers and specialized computer software are available to help you live a more independent and empowered life. Today, advances in technology are proving to be highly advantageous for AMD sufferers. One such advancement is the Google driver-less car!
Make it a routine to put things that are used often such as jackets, keys, shoes, slippers, toothbrushes and reading glasses in the same place so that you’ll remember where to find them.
Developing a system for arranging clothing in your drawers and closets can be helpful, too. Separate different coloured blouses in your wardrobe with white shirts, for example.
Living a healthy lifestyle can help delay and slow AMD. Routinely wearing UV-protective sunglasses and brimmed hats while outdoors is an excellent habit to abide by.
Nutrition is another big factor in slowing AMD. The fact is that antioxidants protect against oxidation, a part of the process of AMD. Dark leafy veggies like spinach and kale, or fruits like strawberries and blueberries provide imperative antioxidants.
The nutritional supplement MacuHealth contains ALL of the carotenoids essential for macular health including lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin. Taking a MacuHealth supplement once a day has been proven to help restore macular pigment levels! Remember, the sooner you begin taking a daily supplement like MacuHealth for your AMD, the better.
Adjusting to new habits can be tricky, so establish your new practices slowly until you eventually become accustomed. Granted, in AMD, the extent of vision loss varies on a person to person basis. That being said, keep in mind that your level of independence will partly depend on the amount of vision you have left, as well as your ability to adapt to “seeing differently”.
Do you have any ‘living with AMD’ tips to share with us? Comment below or tweet us @MacuHealth!