Wet age-related macular degeneration: Get the support you need
Family, friends, support groups, counselors and low vision rehab can help you adjust and live well with wet macular degeneration.
Hearing that you have wet macular degeneration — and the possibility or experience of losing vision — can be really frightening and difficult. You may go through many emotions, including feelings of loss, anger, isolation and depression. These feelings are common and normal. But don't let them keep you from moving forward and enjoying your life. Also know that people won't know if you have vision loss because your eyes will not appear any different.
To help you cope with your diagnosis and adjust to a new way of living, it may help to:
March 03, 2020
- Spend time with supportive family and friends. Because your eyes won't look any different, friends and family may not know that you have vision loss. Help them understand what you're facing. Stay engaged. With time, patience and some adjustments, you can continue to enjoy time with your loved ones, time in your community, hobbies and travel.
Join a support group. Seeking out support is important. You are not alone. Many people have experienced or are experiencing vision loss. Consider online or local support groups where you can share your feelings and frustrations, get encouragement, and learn from the experiences of others.
If a support group isn't right for you, consider seeing a counselor. Ask your doctor if he or she has any recommendations.
Learn to do things differently. Ask your doctor to refer you to a low vision rehabilitation program or specialist. They won't be able to restore your vision. But they can help you learn to navigate your life in new ways, using a variety of strategies and adaptive technologies at home, at work and while socializing.
Try to stay positive. You may need to make changes in your life. But with an openness to doing things differently, you can live a full life and preserve your independence.
See more In-depth
- Coping with vision loss. Vision Aware. http://www.visionaware.org/info/emotional-support/coping-with-vision-loss/12. Accessed Feb. 15, 2018.
- Preferred practice pattern: Age-related macular degeneration. San Francisco, CA: American Academy of Ophthalmology; 2015. http://www.aao.org/preferred-practice-pattern/age-related-macular-degeneration-ppp-2015. Accessed Sept. 22, 2015.
- Facts about age-related macular degeneration. National Eye Institute. https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts. Accessed Feb. 13, 2018.
- Support groups and other resources. Vision Aware. http://www.visionaware.org/info/emotional-support/peer-support-groups-and-other-resources/13. Accessed Feb. 15, 2018.
- Arroyo JG. Age-related macular degeneration: Treatment and prevention. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Feb. 13, 2018.
- Softing Hataye AL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 18, 2018.