Maintaining Macular Health with Lifestyle Changes
“As a clinician, my favorite part about dark adaptation testing is knowing I can detect age-related macular degeneration at a subclinical stage and can empower my patients to take charge of their visual health. Nothing makes me smile as I do when I see the positive impact that results from patient compliance with treatment recommendations. A patient who can proactively fight disease is a happy patient.” – Dr. Pamela Lowe
Lifestyle Changes that Made an Impact
75-year-old female with history of glaucoma and peripheral retinal drusen had a baseline RI of 7.76 OD in 2018. In addition, genetic testing revealed she had a 77% lifetime risk of developing AMD. As a voracious reader who feared losing her central vision, she was thankful to have the earliest possible diagnosis and eager to follow treatment recommendations. She committed to taking a nutraceutical supplement and agreed to eat healthier. After a year of diligent consumption of vitamins and improved diet, her RI score improved to 5.29 OD in 2019. OCT showed no central drusen (only peripheral). She was happy to report she continued to be active and enjoy her hobbies, knowing that she was doing all she could to preserve her vision.
64-year-old female with history of glaucoma, central macular drusen, and bilateral retinal tears from high myopia. Despite her BCVA of 20/20 OU, her baseline RI scores were OD >20 and OS 9.41 in 2017. At her next visit, she reported taking her treatment plan very seriously, following a nutraceutical regimen along with healthy diet and exercise. Her RI scores improved to OD 12.54 and OS 6.98 in 2018 and OCT showed no drusen progression. I was thrilled to tell her all her efforts had been worthwhile.
65-year-old female with history of type 2 diabetes (no diabetic retinopathy), 20/20 central vision and family history of AMD. Although her Rapid Test RI scores were OD 4.02 and OS 4.18 in 2018, consistent with a healthy macula, we decided to make some adjustments to help delay onset of the disease given her family ocular history and her diabetes. Following indicated lifestyle modifications, patient had RI scores of OD 3.61 and OS 3.64 in 2019. As the primary caregiver of her 85-year-old husband with dementia, knowing she could ward off age-related macular degeneration gave her peace of mind.
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