esposla Asked November 16, 2017

Is the macular degeneration shot necessary?


Our mom is 84 years old. Gets around ok. Diabetes type 2, some dementia, few hospital visits. She is still with dad, also 84yo. She started to receive a shot in one eye for macular degeneration. Do you think there's good reason to continue the shot?
My brother thinks no, and I yes.



EXPERT Carol Bradley Bursack Nov 21, 2017
I don't believe in pushing treatments beyond where they are useful but if these are helping they are a quality of life issue. Yes! As the others said, if she can handle the appointments, these need to be done. Saving her vision is vital to her quality of life. Ask your brother to put gel goggles over his eye and walk around for awhile. He may get the picture. I understand where he's coming from (I think), but this is one treatment that needs to be continued for as long as she can handle it. I hope that he listens to you.
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cwillie Nov 16, 2017
As long as your mom is able to handle the appointments please, please do allow her to be treated. AMD stole my mother's vision 25 years ago, we would have walked through fire to treat it but at the time no help was available. My mom managed very well too, but she couldn't go out on her own and discovered that well meaning friends didn't see the hazards, social functions centred around films, card playing, shuffleboard, things that take your eyes. Even eating out is a problem when you can't see what is on your plate. Hand your brother a pair of dark wrap around sunglasses with most of the centre completely obscured and ask him to leave them on for a day and I'll bet he changes his tune.
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freqflyer Nov 16, 2017
esposla, my Dad was 94 when he started the macular degeneration shots, and he felt the shots were helpful, as he was starting to see better.

As cwillie above had mentioned, if your Mom can handle the appointments, keep having those shots.

Wish those shots were available for my Mom when she was alive, but the shots were still in clinical trials. Mom had to stop reading as it was too tiring trying to read out of the corner of her eyes.
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pamelac Nov 21, 2017
My mom is 95 and has had macular degeneration (MD) for at least 8 years. One eye was wet MD and one dry MD, now both wet MD. This is the kind that the shot helps, and mom gets one every 6 weeks. It should not hurt if they put plenty of numbing drops in and give that time to work. Every visit, mom looks into a machine that takes a picture of the eye; if there is any inflammation, that eye gets a shot. Most of the time, it's just one eye or the other, but once in a while she needs a shot in each. Her eye doc told me he's had patients who delayed treatment and are now blind. People who put off the shots can lose their vision! It would be cruel to deny a person this treatment.
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Becky04473 Nov 16, 2017
Esposla, I am 67. I watched my mother slowly lose her vision. By the time the shots were available, she was beyond the point of them helping. She never went completely blind, but she struggled with many things. I am 67. I have macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. I have my first Eylea treatment after Thanksgiving. I'm nervous, but I want to save as much of my vision as possible. My circumstances are different than your mother's but I would encourage her to get the shot.
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kaptagat Nov 21, 2017
My 89 year old Mum with mid stage Alzheimer's was diagnosed several months ago. She had already lost the sight in one eye before diagnosis because she wasn't able to discern that her sight was bad. She has had the injection every two months since and the sighted eye has stabilized. We only had problems with the first shot because as the freezing was coming out she rubbed her eye and scratched the iris which caused pain and swelling. After that, we make sure to use the drops prescribed by the doctor after each visit and watch to make sure she doesn't rub her eye. She doesn't like the injection process, (who would!) but my brother makes it an outing with treats to follow at the coffee shop so she is usually okay. The following day she has some discomfort but nothing she can't handle. Please make sure she gets these injections. Alzheimer's is bad enough without being blind too.
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RayLinStephens Nov 21, 2017
First, I didn't know there to be such a thing as a Macular Degeneration shot.

Second, my DH is 96 - so to me, 84 isn't old yet. I'd say continue it as long as Mom can handle it. She won't handle going blind either.

Third - I'm going to ask my doctor about it as I've never heard of it - but I'm 66 and I don't want to go blind either.
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beejaycee Nov 21, 2017
My mom at 95 is still getting her shot. Up until last year she took them every four weeks. A newer medication now has her at 7-8 weeks and her vision is stable. Unless she becomes bedridden I will continue to take her each time.
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kcandersen Nov 21, 2017
My Mom was 82 and she stopped going for the injections after 2 years. She felt the process was incredibly painful and was not helping her vision that much. So the benefit for her did not outweigh the pain of getting it done. But if your Mom is getting the benefit and it is not uncomfortable for her then best to continue. Good luck.
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Llamalover47 Nov 22, 2017
My late mother had wet Macular Degeneration and her retinologist gave her 701 eye injections total in both eyes. However, her retinologist was a criminal who funneled $800,000.00 into a faux fund he created. He was caught and ended up in Federal Prison. I know, shocking, right but it's true! So then she went to a new retinologist who said "My protocol of care for you, Norma will be NO eye injections because YOU HAVE THE WORST CASE OF WET MACULAR DEGENERATION I HAVE EVER SEEN AND AS A RESULT OF ALL THE PRIOR EYE INJECTIONS, YOU HAVE VERY, VERY SIGNIFICANT SCARING." So I know a LOT about this disease since I was diagnosed with the lesser version of it in August of this year, which is dry Macular Degeneration.  Technology has advanced leaps and bounds and The Amsler Grid is a dinosaur. I use a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi enabled eye machine that I have to use daily  to make sure that mine doesn't worsen.
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