Low Vision Blog
Macular degeneration, an eye disease that affects the central vision, limits the ability to recognize faces, read, drive, and navigate common everyday activities. We often try to find solutions to overcome the loss of such activities. Typically through low vision devices, magnification, adaptive aids, and technology, we can help folks complete the tasks and activities they desire. But there’s another side to this story- treating the depression- or at least recognizing the depression. Many folks who suffer with macular degeneration (or any form of low vision), do so greatly because of the depression that co-exists with the vision loss. In fact, 10 to 30 percent of people with macular degeneration have depression, which is double the normal rate for people older than 70 (Goldstein).
Macular degeneration is an age-related eye disease, so it’s not that surprising to learn of the depression rates among those affected. Most of the folks I see here at our low vision clinic have gone through life relatively healthy, and managed their lives well. Eye disease leading to low vision requires people to re-examine their lives and forces them to deal with the adversity. People need to grieve; they need to have the time to move through the grief & loss process.
If you have macular degeneration or low vision from another eye disease, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, stroke, cataracts, etc… I encourage you to have comprehensive care that extends beyond the eye doctor. Consider visiting us at ForSight Vision so we can better understand what it’s like for you living with low vision. We’re here to help….. and listen.
Jennifer C. Zack, M.S., CLVT
Clinical Director / Certified Low Vision Therapist